Changes in medical education and healthcare reimbursement are recent threats to most academic medical centers’ dual mission of patient care and education. Financial pressures stem from reduced insurance reimbursement, capitation, and changes in public funding for medical residency education. Pressures for innovation result from increasing numbers of patients, higher acuity of patients, an aging population of patients with complex problems, and restrictions on residency workloads. A framework for addressing the need for innovation in the medical service at a large academic medical center is presented. The framework enables acute care nurse practitioners to provide inpatient medical management in collaboration with a hospitalist. The model’s development, acceptance, successes, pitfalls, and evaluation are described. The literature describing the use of nurse practitioners in acute care settings is reviewed.

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