This sample essay on Roles In Advanced Practice Nursing Paper provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
Throughout history nursing has been defined in many ways. In recent years the field of advance practice nursing has emerged as nurses are taking on more challenging and comprehensive roles within the health care field. One may define an advance practice nurse in many ways.
According to the Department of Regulation and Licensing in Wisconsin, and advanced practice nurse is a registered nurse with the following credentials: (1) holds a professional nursing license within the state, (2) is certified by a national certifying authority as a nurse practitioners, registered nurse anesthetist, clinical nurse specialist or other nursing specialist and (3) a registered nurse who holds a graduate degree by an accredited university (DRL, 2004).
This definition is fairly standard among most other nursing institutions. In most cases advanced practice nurses may not prescribe medications, though there is now a certification APN’s can get that allow them to prescribe medications in certain instances. According to the American Nurses Association and advanced practice nurse or APN is an “umbrella term given to a registered nurse (RN) who has met advanced educational and clinical practice requirements” (ANA, 2005).
Roles Of Advanced Practice Nurses
An APN therefore generally has more than 2-4 years of basic nursing education (ANA, 2005). An APN is expected to carry out more autonomous responsibilities than a traditional RN, including diagnosis and treatment of patients in many instances. One may conclude from these two comparisons then that an APN is a highly specialized nurse with advanced skills in diagnosis and treatment of disease among other things. Role of APN APN’s come in many forms and their roles change significantly depending on their specialty or key area of practice.
The more common specialties or fields a nurse takes on include nurse practitioners (NP), Certified Nurse Midwifes (CNM), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) (ANA, 2005). The role of an APN varies according to their specialty, however most provide a multitude of services for patients in employment settings, clinical care settings, retirement communities, hospitals and even schools (ANA, 2005). Because most people are familiar with the term nurse practitioner or NP, we’ll examine the role of a NP more closely.
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A NP usually works within a clinical setting, private office, and hospital or in a nursing home (ANA, 2005). Many are specialized in a specific field like pediatrics or obstetrics. NP’s conduct a variety of medical care tasks, which may include diagnosis, comprehensive medical histories, physical examinations, interpretation of labs or X-rays and patient education (ANA, 2005). Nurse Midwives on the other hand provide gynecologic and obstetric care for women including prenatal care and labor and delivery care (ANA, 2005).
Certified nurse midwifes represent one of the fastest growing areas of APN practice in recent years (ANA, 2005). The role of the APN also includes psychological support for patients and their family members. Nurses generally engage in much more intimate relationships with patients in many situations than primary care providers or physicians. They often have the opportunity to talk more to patients about their histories, current environment, lifestyle and needs, wants and desires with regard to health care practices (Lumby, 2004).
This intimate bond opens many avenues for support and growth within the healthcare profession as nurses begin realizing new ways of meeting patient needs and offering the highest possible level of quality care. Lumby (2004) suggests that the term advance practice nurse or even nurse practitioner is one that is controversial at bet because the term ‘practitioner’ specifically has usually been reserved for doctors. The author also points out that all nurses “are practitioners of nursing” regardless of their skills or expertise (Lumby, 40).
The author challenges the profession of nursing to focus on key issues, which she defines as “developing the capacity to research and articulate the evolution going on within the profession” (Lumby, 41). Among the current issues facing advance practice nurses and the nursing profession in general include finding methods to delivery “consumer focused quality health services” and shift individuals way of thinking from a “provider driven system to a consumer driven system” that enables consumers to make informed choices regarding their healthcare (Lumby, 41).
Issues and Discussion of Advance Practice Nursing Lumby makes a good point. It is not nearly as important to define an advance practice nurse as it is to define what techniques, methods and practices nurses will need to adopt in the future to drive health care in a consumer oriented direction. The health care industry has long faced many crises none the least of which is providing adequate health care to an increasingly diverse population. Advanced practice nurses, with additional training and more specialized care, are interacting even more than RN’s with patients on a daily basis.
They are playing key roles in the health outcomes of patients in the short and long term in many instances. Many APN are also making decisions that ultimately will affect a patient’s long-term health and well-being. It is important as Lumby points out that APN’s focus their attention on enabling or empowering consumers to make independent choices regarding their health care. Consumers want to feel they are taking an active role in the decision making process when it comes to their health and well being.
APNs can help facilitate this process by informing patients and apprising them of their choices in a health care setting. Much like a physician most APN conduct autonomous decisions when diagnosing and treating complex symptoms in patients. APN’s must not only be clinically skilled at diagnosing and assessing but also integrate important skills such as education, communication and leadership and brings these factors into the patient nurse relationship.
The role of the APN will likely continue to change with time as the health care standards within the nation and across the globe continue to change. New roles and specialties within the field of advance practice nursing will also emerge as healthcare evolves and changes in the upcoming years. Hopefully these changes will ultimately result in better health care services and better defined roles for both caregivers and patients in a healthcare setting.
In addition APN’s will likely continue to face ongoing challenges in the healthcare arena, including challenges presented by working under a managed care system that doesn’t afford equal access to health care to all people in the states. APN’s should continue to collaborate closely not only with colleagues and physicians but also with members of the community and patients to broaden their experience and develop new methods for meeting consumers needs in as Lumby calls it, an increasingly consumer driven practice.
Bibliography : ANA. “Advanced practice nursing: A new age in health care. ” 1997 American Nurses Association. 23 Sept 2005: http://www. nursingworld. org/readroom/fsadvprc. htm DRL. (2004 – Jan). “DRL – Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber. ” January 8, 2004. Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing. 24, Sept 2005: http://drl. wi. gov/prof/nura/def. htm Lumby, J. (2000). Clinical challenges: Focus on nursing. St. Lenoards, Allen ; Unwin.