How Nurse Practitioners Are Changing Healthcare in America?

by admin on December 02, 2009

It is well debated how Nurse Practitioners are influencing over the healthcare scenario in America. According to a research, nearly Eight million Americans have not any insurance cover and 25% of the population is uninsured. This has forced a larger chunk of American population to seek shelter of primary health care services. As only one-fourth of medical school graduates select residencies in primary care specialties in family medicine, pediatrics, general internal medicine and obstetrics/gynecology have significant gaps in terms of services.

In view of this grim picture of health care scenario in America, it is the Nurse Practitioners (NPs) who are ably qualified with advanced practice skills to meet out the increased demand of primary care services. Nurse Practitioners have shown the capacity to provide health care to many groups that require medical attention like children, women, migrant workers, the homeless, and the elderly in unconventional places like schools, work sites, and health departments.

After observing this much status and scope of Nursing Practitioner in health care industry Schools of Nursing are investing in resources in abundance for preparing NPs in graduation. However, legal status as provided to APNs under various states varies.  The Nurse Practice Act legislated in each state of the U.S. has all the requirements specified for each of the state. As now registered nurses are authorized to provide services for primary health promotion, disease prevention, and assessment of health status yet debate is still needed for degree of independence, perspective authority and reimbursement for APN services.

Advanced Practice Nurse (APNs) are registered professional nurses, with a license to practice due to knowledge and learning which they have acquired from a post-basic or advanced education program as acceptable to the State Board of Nurse Examiners.   The APN can practice independently and/or in collaboration with other health care professionals to provide better health care services. They can also manage acute illnesses under chronic conditions in a variety of settings. They are tiled as under as Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse Midwife, and Certified Nurse Anesthetist.

As to meet out the health care needs of the Americans, APNs are qualified to sort out the unaddressed needs in primary health care industry by serving individual’s point of first contact with health care system.  This way APNs provide personalized, client-oriented, comprehensive collection of health care tips over a period of time.  This way it can be understood that role of NPs is increasing in American society accordingly to change with society and health care needs of the consumers as well as patients as large. And finally NPs can fit better into the role of provider, mentor, educator, researcher and administrator.

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