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This week on the “First Opinion Podcast,” I’m joined by two members of the National Academy of Medicine’s Committee on the Future of Nursing. Regina Cunningham is a registered nurse and chief executive officer of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and Marshall Chin is an internal medicine physician at the University of Chicago.

We discuss the range of options for nurses, full practice authority, which gives advanced practice nurses the ability to diagnose, write prescriptions, and care independently for patients. It’s a contentious issue, but Cunningham and Chin believe that with more autonomy, nurses are capable of dismantling the country’s health inequities.

Their main point, though, is that discussions about who can do what should focus squarely on what’s best for patients.

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The conversation stems from the First Opinion essay, “All states should harness nurses’ full potential” by Cunningham and fellow committee member David R. Williams.

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And if you have any feedback for us — First Opinion authors to feature on the podcast, vocal mannerisms the host needs to jettison, kudos or darts — email us at [email protected] and please put “podcast” in the subject line.