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Advanced Practice Roles in Nursing


The master of nursing curriculum prepares many practitioners to take up different roles in healthcare. Each of these roles is critical towards supporting the diverse needs of different patients. A proper understanding of the roles and responsibilities associated with the major nursing careers can help more individuals get quality medical care (Jeffreys, 2008). This paper begins by comparing and contrasting the roles of the nurse educator, nurse practitioner, nurse informaticist, and nurse administrator in advanced practice. The paper will also go further to outline the major issues, policies, and aspects associated with the roles of a nurse practitioner.

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Advanced Practice Roles in Nursing

There are different advanced practice nursing (APN) roles that play a significant role towards ensuring every patient receives quality care. These roles are undertaken by individuals who have completed a master of nursing curriculum (Naylor & Kurtzman, 2010). Although the academic programmes have several similarities, the outstanding fact is that each nursing career path is characterized by unique roles and competencies.

To begin with, Nurse Practitioners (NPs) should have the best skills in order to provide adequate care in different healthcare settings. A Nurse Practitioner possesses a wide range of competencies that encourage him or her to practice independently. This means that the practitioner should be able to assess the health needs of the targeted patients. These professionals can work in different fields such as pediatrics, gerontology, acute care, family practice, neonatal care, mental health, women health, and adult practice (Naylor & Kurtzman, 2010). Nurse Practitioners are prepared to provide primary health care to more patients in these fields.

They also provide acute health support and care services to diverse populations. NPs also have adequate skills to diagnose various medical conditions and provide evidence-based treatment. Basically, NPs have the best skills that make it easier for them to provide most of the services offered by physicians (Naylor & Kurtzman, 2010). This means they can write prescriptions and engage in follow-up medical care.

Nurse Educators (NEs) are specialized professionals who have a proper understanding of the eight core components of nursing. On top of that, such specialists are capable of preparing educational programs that can empower more caregivers. They should be aware of the diverse needs in health care. They should always focus on emerging technologies and informatics that can transform the nature of care. These educators also guide nurses and patients in order to produce the best health outcomes (Iglehart, 2013). As well, these educators should be able to provide evidence-based medical support to patients from diverse populations.

The other advanced practice role is that of a nurse informaticist. This professional makes it easier for patients to benefit from modern technological changes and advancements (Lathrop & Hodnicki, 2014). These informaticists are usually technologically-savvy. The roles of such practitioners will depend significantly on the targeted health outcomes and mission of the health care facility. These practitioners are expected to “oversee the integration of data” (Iglehart, 2013, p. 1938).

They also consider emerging technologies and advise their institutions accordingly (Lathrop & Hodnicki, 2014). This knowledge in then used to support the decision-making process. They also guide the other practitioners in the institution in order to deliver timely care. The practitioner can also guide different patients to use different technologies. They should also ensure every healthcare system is up-to-date. The information technology implemented in the healthcare facility should be availed to every nurse, doctor, patient, and specialist (Iglehart, 2013).

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The other advanced practice nursing role is that of a nurse administrator (NA). This role is very broad and makes it easier for institutions to achieve their potentials. The NA creates “effective intra-departmental systems of healthcare delivery while at the same time leading an efficient and productive workforce” (Lathrop & Hodnicki, 2014, p. 12). This “leadership and administrative approach allows for optimal patient support and care in different medical settings” (Lathrop & Hodnicki, 2014, p. 14).

The nurse administrator should possess specific competencies in order to improve performance and medical support. These practitioners support the needs of different practitioners, avail the best resources, and address numerous health problems. They coordinate the nature of care in order to support the health needs of the targeted patients.

This discussion shows clearly that the roles of these practitioners differ significantly. However, such advanced roles work synergistically to improve the level and nature of clinical practice. For instance, NPs require the support of NAs and informaticists in order to design the most desirable healthcare delivery models (Lathrop & Hodnicki, 2014). NEs also avail the best resources, competencies, and ideas that can eventually improve the level of research. This practice avails evidence-based ideas that can be used to improve the quality of care delivered to every patient.

Selected Advanced Practice Role

Legal and Regulatory Requirements

Nurse Practitioners can provide evidence-based care to more patients from diverse backgrounds. These professionals should consider various legal and regulatory requirements in order to practice within the law. To begin with, the NP should be licensed before practicing in the targeted state. The practitioner should also be aware of the scope of practice in the state. The NP should have a master’s degree from an acknowledged learning institution.

Lathrop and Hodnicki (2014) indicate that “malpractices, misbehaviors, and poor health delivery issues can result in license revocation” (p. 14). Some of these malpractices include medical malpractices, violence, gross immorality, and inability to comply with different regulations. The practitioner should also “be certified by a national accreditation organization” (Freed, Dunham, Loveland-Cherry, & Martyn, 2010, p. 862).

Professional Membership

Practitioners in nursing can benefit a lot from different professional organizations. The first organization is the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). This professional organization avails different resources and guidelines that can support the needs of different caregivers. The organization promotes different researches that can support my nursing goals. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) also offers numerous resources to its members. The agency is “a great resource for conferences, continuing education, and practice recommendations” (Freed et al., 2010, p. 863). Such resources and concepts will support my nursing philosophy. The American Nursing Association (ANA) will also be considered in order to achieve my career objectives.

Competencies and Certification Requirements

The role of a Nurse Practitioner (NP) calls for appropriate competencies and skills. The major competencies include proper communication, leadership skills, problem-solving, and ability to deliver quality clinical care (Lathrop & Hodnicki, 2014). As a Nurse Practitioner, it is appropriate to be culturally-competent in order to support the needs of more patients from diverse backgrounds. The practitioner should also be able to design the most desirable health delivery models (Lathrop & Hodnicki, 2014).

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The practitioner can also collaborate with nurse administrators, informaticists, and educators in order to improve the quality of care availed to different patients. The caregiver should also engage in critical thinking and promote the best values in medical practice. As mentioned earlier, NPs should have a master’s degree in order to be certified as qualified caregivers. The “individual should also be aware of the eight core components of nursing” (Freed et al., 2010, p. 863). As well, the caregiver should also be a member of a professional nursing organization.

Organization and Setting

I am planning to work in a family care setting. This facility will make it easier for me to provide quality care to different elderly citizens and family members (Freed et al., 2010). The healthcare setting will make it easier to address the health needs of diverse patients. The organization and setting will also encourage me to design multi-disciplinary teams that have the potential to address the health needs of diverse patients. As well, individuals from different backgrounds will be part of the healthcare delivery system.

Patients of all ages and backgrounds will be expected to seek health support from the family care facility. These patients will be provided with evidence-based medical care and support.

I am also expecting to work with more practitioners with different competencies. For instance, I will collaborate with caregivers, nurse aids, and volunteers. Physicians, social workers, and psychologists will be encouraged to develop a multidisciplinary team that can support the needs of the targeted patients (Freed et al., 2010). I will also ensure family members and relatives of my patients are involved throughout the healthcare delivery process.

Pharmacists and nurse educators will also be consulted in order to ensure more patients receive quality medical care. The established team will make sure the family nursing facility continues to offer evidence-based care and support to more patients.

Leadership Attributes of the Advanced Practice Role

I have always been a democratic leader. This leadership style makes it easier for me to address the needs of my workmates and followers. This leadership style is associated with transparency and ability to guide others. Concepts of teamwork and collaboration are developed in order to produce the best results. As a Nurse Practitioner (NP), the democratic leadership model will make it easier to support the needs of my followers and eventually achieve the best health results (Naylor & Kurtzman, 2010).

I also possess several leadership attributes that make me a competent provider of quality care. For instance, I am always a critical thinker. This attribute makes it easier for me to focus on issues from a critical perspective. I have good decision-making and problem-solving attributes. I also possess the best competencies such as the ability to collaborate, lead, and mentor others (Douglas et al., 2011). This means that I am able to address the needs of more followers from diverse backgrounds. It has always been my duty to act ethically. This attribute makes it easier for me to consider every situation from an ethical approach.

This move makes it easier for me to promote the best practices in an attempt to achieve the best results. However, I strongly believe that more attributes are needed in order to make me successful. For example, I am focusing on the best practices that can improve my cultural competence skills. The important thing is to learn new languages and examine the moral aspects associated with different racial groups.

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In order to achieve these missing attributes, I will engage in a practice known as life-long learning (Douglas et al., 2011). This concept makes it easier for caregivers to consider specific practices and evidence-based ideas that can make it easier for professionals to achieve their potentials. I will also interact with more people and healthcare practitioners. I am also focusing on the best approaches to interact with more patients and relatives from diverse backgrounds. I will also consider the effectiveness of other leadership styles. These attributes will make me a successful leader and nurse practitioner.

I will constantly consider my achievements and newly-acquired competencies in nursing (Jeffreys, 2008). A carefully-designed checklist will also be used to examine whether every targeted skill and attribute is realized. The concept of lifelong learning will also make it easier for me to continue acquiring new competencies and skills.

Health Policy and the Advanced Practice Role

New policies in health care are emerging in order to ensure more people get quality medical care. For example, healthcare reforms have been “focusing on the best approaches to ensure nurses can practice to the extent of their educational attainments” (Parsons & Cornett, 2011, p. 284). This fact shows clearly that NPs will be expected to undertake numerous roles in the future. The diversity of the American population and emergence of new health complications is something that should encourage NPs to undertake new roles. It will also be necessary for these practitioners to undertake new studies in order to continue to supporting the health needs of more patients.

However, there are numerous challenges that continue to limit the practice of RNs. For example, the current legislations do not allow NPs to work in diverse settings. As well, some states such as Florida require that NPs are monitored and guided by physicians (Jeffreys, 2008). This issue affects the performance of many NPs. Health Policy concerns and issues should promote the best ideas that have the potential to support the welfare of these professionals. By so doing, these NPs will be able to deliver quality medical care to more patients.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Policy Issue

Current Policy

The selected policy is the Culture of Health. Jeffreys (2008) indicates that the United States spends a lot of money on health care compared to the other nations across the globe. However, the country’s socioeconomic status still continues to affect the health experiences and outcomes of many Americans (Jeffreys, 2008). Many people in underserved regions and minority communities do not have access to quality medical support. The proposed policy therefore has the potential to play a significant role towards supporting the health needs of many people from different backgrounds.

The policy therefore focuses on specific changes and measures that can improve the health outcomes of many citizens. For example, the policy focuses on the best approaches to improve people’s schooling and working environments. As well, education should be improved in order to influence the health goals of more people positively. Basically, the proposed Culture of Health will “ensure every American citizen has the potential to attain the best health as possible” (Jeffreys, 2008, p. 39). A proper culture that focuses on health promotion will support the changing health needs of diverse populations in the United States. Individuals and players involved in different healthcare settings should be involved in this policy. These individuals will present the best insights and ideas that can deliver positive results.

Change Process

There are several approaches and processes that are needed to make the best changes. To begin with, the educational process should be changed so that more people understand the importance of engaging in positive health behaviors and practices (Parsons & Cornett, 2011). This move will also encourage more people to engage in lifelong learning and acquire new health care practices. The second process entails the use of legal frameworks and regulations.

This move will make it possible for different policymakers and politicians to implement the best laws. Such laws will empower individuals from diverse backgrounds. Non-governmental organizations should also be involved throughout the process. These stakeholders will encourage more citizens to engage in the most appropriate health practices. Members of the community will also be educated about the best health practices.

Public health workers will also be empowered and equipped with the necessary resources. These professionals will guide more communities to embrace the best health promotion behaviors. They will also engage in appropriate health practices. They will also empower one another in an attempt to address various disease outbreaks. Employers will also be required to improving the safety measures embraced in different working environments. The ultimate goal will be to establish a new culture of health in the country (Parsons & Cornett, 2011). The other important stakeholders include caregivers and health practitioners. These workers will offer appropriate care and implement the best disease management plans.

Influencing the Change in Policy

I strongly believe that my roles and efforts as a nurse practitioner will play a major role towards influencing the change in policy. I will educate more people and patients to embrace the best health practices. It will also be appropriate to design powerful campaigns that will ensure more people embrace the best health behaviors and practices (Moen & Knudsen, 2013). I will encourage my workmates and followers to be involved throughout the policy development process.

Individuals who are empowered and encouraged to focus on the best health practices will achieve the best medical results (Parsons & Cornett, 2011). Nursing education will be embraced because it has the potential to support the health needs of many people.

Effect of the Proposed Changes

The proposed policy is expected to transform the nature and quality of healthcare. The policy is also “founded on the argument that patients can achieve the best health results if they promote the best health promotional practices” (Moen & Knudsen, 2013, p. 89). The policy will ensure the health challenges and concerns affecting many people from diverse backgrounds are addressed. Different communities will be empowered using the best resources and ideas. Such resources will encourage them to eat balanced diets, engage in exercises, and seek medical support whenever necessary. Members of the society will also be expected to support one another.

They will also promote new practices that have the potential to establish a desirable culture of health (Freed et al., 2010). The policy will therefore become a powerful model for improving the quality of medical support provided to the greatest number of citizens in the country. Every stakeholder should embrace the best health practices in order to achieve quality results.

Reference List

Douglas, M., Pierce, J., Rosenkoetter, M., Pacquiao, D., Callister, L., Hattar-Pollara, M.,…Purnell, L. (2011). Standards of Practice for Culturally Competent Nursing Care: 2011 Update. Journal of Trans-cultural Nursing, 22(4), 317-333.

Freed, G., Dunham, K., Loveland-Cherry, C., & Martyn, K. (2010). Family Nurse Practitioners: Roles and Scope of Practice in the Care of Pediatric Patients. Pediatrics, 126(5), 861-864.

Iglehart, J. (2013). Expanding the Role of Advanced Nurse Practitioners: Risks and Rewards. The New England Journal of Medicine, 368(1), 1935-1941.

Jeffreys, M. (2008). Dynamics of Diversity: Becoming Better Nurses through Diversity Awareness. NSNA Imprint, 1(1), 37-41.

Lathrop, B., & Hodnicki, D. (2014). The Affordable Care Act: Primary Care and the Doctor of Nursing Practice Nurse. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 19(1), 1-24.

Moen, A., & Knudsen, L. (2013). Nursing Informatics: Decades of Contribution to Health Informatics. Healthcare Informatics Research, 19(2), 86-92.

Naylor, M., & Kurtzman, E. (2010). The Role of Nurse Practitioners in Reinventing Primary Care. Health Affairs, 29(5), 893-899.

Parsons, M., & Cornett, P. (2011). Sustaining the Pivotal Organizational Outcome: Magnet Recognition. Journal of Nursing Management, 19(1), 277-286.

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