Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner Staffing Patterns in California's Licensed Community Clinics: 2005 - 2008
Physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) play a critical role in the delivery of primary care in California’s licensed community clinics. Between 2005 and 2008, however, clinics increasingly relied on PAs and NPs as care providers. The use of PAs increased more than the use of NPs. Rural clinics rely on both PAs and NPs to a greater extent than non-rural clinics. Physicians continue to be the principal care provider at most clinics, but data indicate that PAs and NPs may be functioning as substitutes for physicians at clinics that utilize them.