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May 29, 1972

Extending the Scope of Nursing PracticeA Report of the Secretary's Committee To Study Extended Roles for Nurses

JAMA. 1972;220(9):1231-1236. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200090053009

Over the centuries nursing and medicine have joined in varied but often poorly defined relationships ranging from close collaboration to outright independence. The rapid advance of biomedical knowledge in the last three decades has created much broader horizons for all health professionals and increased expectations for the people they serve. The assumption by nurses of extended responsibilities for patient care makes possible a wider professional opportunity for both professions and clearly implies and has in fact demonstrated increased effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of health services. As such changes take place, however, both nurse and physician feel threatened and are troubled by ambiguities, uncertainties, and misconceptions of their symbiotic roles.

There is growing recognition of the importance of physician-nurse collaboration in extending health care services to meet increasing demand. The nurse is a provider of personal health care services, working interdependently with physicians and others to keep people well