Many countries project that they will have difficulty to meet their demand for primary care based on an inadequate supply of primary care doctors. There are many reasons for this, and they tend to vary by country. The policy options available to these countries are to increase the number of local primary care doctors, recruit doctors from other countries, ration primary care, shift more primary care to specialists, or authorize other disciplines to provide primary care. This article examines lessons learned in the United States over the past 50 years and proposes that expanding the use of nurse practitioners is the best solution when measured by feasibility, costs, ethics, and scope of the care delivered. Using nurse practitioners trained in country meets the World Health Organization global code of practice regarding the international recruitment of health personnel. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.