At issue is the degree to which nurse practitioners may operate free of physician oversight. Nurse practitioners in Iowa and 15 other states already have autonomy. Those in Nebraska do not. For the patient, more nurse practitioners could mean better access to care in rural areas and shorter waits in cities. But some physicians warn that independence for nurse practitioners could compromise quality. The head of the Nebraska Medical Association says nurse practitioners should be overseen by a collaborating doctor, as is required by Nebraska law.