Nurse practitioners are clinicians that have received the appropriate license in order to target their medical practice on disease management and prevention. When implementing the role of advanced practice registered nurses, nurse practitioners predominantly specialize by the differentiation of patient population, as, for example, women’s health, pediatric care, or adult care.
Nurse educators are registered nurses that have received an advanced educational level, that also work as teachers. The majority of nurse educators have previously worked as nurses in various establishments before dedicating their progression to teaching and mentoring nurses to be.
Nurse informacist predominantly works as communication developers, researchers, software developers as well as policy developers. Therefore, nurse informacists deal with the technology-related aspect of nursing, providing appropriate information technologies to promote adequate health care.
A nurse administrator is a professional that often implements a number of roles at the same time. A nurse administrator can do nurse management work while at the same time being a Chief Executive Officer of the organization he or she works in. Their main role consists of leading the organization, keeping the staff’s performance under control, as well as assessing the past and current performance within the health care institution.
It is evident that the mentioned roles of nurse practitioners all relate to providing the highest quality healthcare services to improve the current health situation in an organization. However, the methods these nurse practitioners employ vary significantly. While nurse administrators improve the quality of health care by managing other practitioners, nurse informacists employ predominantly technological data processing methods in order to conduct research on the current issues to develop new solutions for their mitigation. Therefore, each of the roles employed by nursing practitioners correlates with the sphere of their advanced practice.
Selected Advanced Practice Role – Family Nurse Practitioner in Florida
Regulatory and Legal Requirements
Since the chosen advanced practice role is a Family Nurse in Florida, it is important to discuss the state’s regulatory requirements concerning this practice. According to the Florida Board of Nursing (2007), a Nurse Practitioner is qualified to provide the intravenous education, which includes the “psychological preparation and support for the patient receiving IV therapy as well as the appropriate family members/significant others” (p. 94).
Such a role coincides with the qualification of the Family Nurse Practitioner that evaluates the psychological condition of the patients as well as provides support for his or her family members. Therefore, the Florida Nurse Practice Act supports the role, which a Family Nurse Practitioner can implement in the context of providing adequate health care services in the organization chosen for practice.
In addition to the mentioned provision, the Nurse Practice Act outlines the primary responsibilities of establishing and implementing of a specific regimen of nursing that provides care and comfort for patients, prevents illnesses, as well as maintains or restores health.
Professional Organization Chosen for Practice
The state of Florida possesses an extensive portfolio of organizations in which a Family Nurse Practitioner can implement his or her role. The chosen organization is the Orlando Regional Medical Center, which provides an array of surgical, medical, rehabilitative, and emergency services for any type of patients (Orlando Health, n.d., para. 3). Due to the fact that the Orlando Regional Medical Center provides a broad spectrum of health care services, and a number of specialty centers, the services of a Family Nurse Practitioner will be in high demand in the facility.
Core competencies for Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) include four core aspects that should be implemented every time a patient is under the care. First, a Family Nurse Practitioner is to critically analyze the patient data which will aid in improving the health condition of the patient. Second, an FNP should integrate the humanitarian and scientific knowledge into the practice. Third, an FNP translates the available research as well as knowledge in order to improve the current processes of practice and reach a beneficial outcome. Lastly, an FNP should be competent enough to develop innovative approaches to practice on the basis of existing research and theory (Thomas, 2013, p. 9).
Organization’s Setting, Population, and Colleagues
The Orlando Regional Medical Center holds 1,168 beds and includes over forty physicians practices. The specialty physician practices include a range of services from oncology to primary care; therefore, the list of patients that the Center caters to is quite diverse. In 2015, the facility admitted 80,628 patients and performed 21,590 outpatients and 28,293 inpatient surgeries. In addition, the Center’s emergency room admitted 242,464 patients (U.S. News, 2015, para. 1).
The health care team that works in the facility consists of trained and skilled professionals that provide patients with an extensive range of emergency, medical, and surgical services. Therefore, if the Orlando Regional Medical Center is chosen for the professional practice of a Family Nurse Practitioners, a tight cooperation with experienced nurses and physicians is guaranteed.
Leadership Attributes of the Advanced Practice Role
Determining the leadership attributes of a Nurse Practitioner is beneficial since there is a strong responsibility for managing and governing the health care system. However, many NPs lack appropriate skills and training that will prepare them for such a challenge (Maddalena, 2016, p. 348).
In accordance with the leadership test, the determined type of leadership is participative leadership. This type of leadership is often referred to as the democratic leadership style, which values the input offered by the team; however, the group’s leader most often makes the main decision. Participative style of leadership is effective for boosting the morale of the team members since all of them make their own contributions into reaching a common goal. Therefore, it makes team members feel that their opinions are highly valued.
According to the study conducted by Bell and Mjoli (2014), supported the hypothesis that the participatory leadership style positively affects the decision-making process within the organizational environment (p. 457).
The leadership attributes that are present currently include the ability to listen, the competency to analyze available information and make appropriate conclusions, as well as effectively interact with any team members. However, one of the crucial leadership attributes that still needs to be attained is the ability to mitigate conflicts. According to the article written by Prieto-Remon, Cobo-Benita, Ortiz-Marcos, and Uruburu (2015), when dealing with a diverse team of stakeholders that can potentially bring value to the process of decision-making, the leadership attribute of successful conflict resolution is key (p. 155).
Their study detected that the skill of conflict resolution is also clearly distributed across stakeholders as is the most important for implementation for leaders. This is true because different individuals assigned different roles within a team influence conflict situations in different ways. Therefore, since a leader is an individual that most often makes decisions on the basis of the teamwork, which implies disputes, it is important for a leader to possess a valuable skill of conflict resolution.
Successful conflict resolution skills are very complicated to obtain without practice and training. If a leader desires to obtain the skill of conflict resolution, he or she should dedicate some time to training, like, for example, visiting seminars and coaching classes that teach leaders how to deal with conflicts that arise in the process of teamwork. The three aspects of conflict resolution that should be practiced in any team setting include the following:
- Improved cohesion within the group. It is crucial to resolving conflicts effectively so that the members of the team are able to build stronger connections of respect and value. Furthermore, if a leader resolved a conflict successfully, there is a strong possibility that team members will renew the faith in that the set goal will be achieved.
- Increase self-knowledge and self-awareness. This is a benefit that results from successful conflict resolution. If a conflict is resolved in an effective manner, the values and the goals of the team members are re-evaluated to understand what aspects are the most important as well as why can enhance the teamwork’s effectiveness.
- The ability to understand the opinion of others. Increased understanding comes during the process of conflict resolution, which often positively influences an individual’s awareness, as well as gives knowledge about how the set goals can be achieved without undermining the opinions of team members.
Health Policy and the Advanced Practice Role
Upon visiting the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s website, it has become evident that the current state of health care is filled with health policy issues. Since the practice of a Family Nurse Practitioner spans across all age groups. Therefore, the chosen for analysis health policy issue is the childhood obesity rates. According to Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2016), the current childhood obesity rates have decreased in comparison with the past experience (p. 1).
The report underlined the fact that some schools, districts, cities, and states managed to effectively make changes in order to aid children in growing up at a much healthier rate than previously. However, a challenge remains in terms of reducing racial and socioeconomic differences in terms of reducing the obesity rates in children.
The report underlined the importance of addressing the issue of inequities when it comes to treating obese children of color, as well as children that live in poverty-stricken areas and cannot get access to appropriate sources of health care as well as healthy food. Therefore, there is very limited progress in the reduction of obesity rates within such populations, despite the fact that some minor success has been achieved (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2016, p. 4).
The study conducted by Sharifi et al. (2016) explored the role the neighborhood environment plays in understanding racial inequities in treating childhood obesity (p. 15). The background for the study suggested that the racial or ethnic inequalities continue to prevail when it comes to childhood obesity. Since there is very little known about the role the neighborhood environment plays in the childhood obesity rates, the study aimed to examine the issue. By collecting and analyzing health records to ding that the z-scores for BMI were the highest for black and Hispanic children in comparison with the white children.
The adjustment to the neighborhood environment was also much more attenuated in black and Hispanic children, while the children’s adjustment to food and physical activities was also attenuated, but to a lesser extent (Sharifi et al., 2016, p. 17). Therefore, a conclusion can be made that childhood obesity inequities have a connection to the way children adapt in their neighborhoods. It is evident that with the adoption of specific interventions targeted at addressing the disparities is of the highest importance when it comes to children of color.
The current policy of childhood obesity reduction does not address the disparities in child obesity rates when it comes to the racial and ethnic differences. A much more specified and sensitive approach is required for reducing the gap in childhood obesity rates in order to then address the issue systematically.
The study conducted by Taveras, Gillman, Kleinman, Rich-Edwards, and Rifas-Shiman (2013) explored how the racial and ethnic disparities can be reduced in addressing childhood obesity (p. 1). The study underlines the importance of the change process since there is strong evidence that the obesity-associated risk factors are much more prevalent in black and Hispanic children in comparison to white. Since the study examined the pre-birth cohort as well as its development over the seven years, it is evident that the primary step in the change process should address the pre-birth education and care. As a Family Nurse Practitioner, one is able to assess the obesity history within the family before a child is born in order to predict the possibility of the child becoming obese.
- Families should be educated about the importance of healthy nutrition and physical activity for their children. Since the prevalence of childhood obesity in black and Hispanic children almost doubled the rate of white children (Taveras et al., 2013, p. 2), there is a need for a much more focused treatment.
- Once the pre-birth risks are identified, the next step should relate to intervention targeted at children in their early childhood since in this period they are much more susceptible to change. If necessary, a Family Nurse Practitioner may advise parents change the child’s taste in food, encourage active play, and establish a cohesive pattern of sleep.
- The in-family behavior modification strategies are not always effective; therefore, more children of different racial and ethnic backgrounds should be involved in the programs like Let’s Move, an initiative that encourages young parents and parents-to-be sustain optimal prenatal weight and adopt healthy lifestyle practices for their young children.
- Due to the fact that the majority of existing interventions targeted at reducing the childhood obesity rates in children from ethnic and racial minorities as well as low-income families rarely positively influence children’s BMI, new and effective interventions are needed to be developed. Such interventions are usually led by physicians that only account for the medical aspect of obesity, forgetting about the social and environmental factors that influence childhood obesity. Therefore, an effective intervention should include four types of key players: physicians, psychologists, the community, and parents. Each of the listed key players possesses knowledge about specific aspects that may contribute to childhood obesity. By combining the experience of all parties, it will be possible to create a multi-dimensional intervention strategy to address the ethnic and racial disparities in childhood obesity rates.
Leading the Effort
As a Family Nurse Practitioner, one may lead the change effort by promoting the cooperation between all members of the medical staff and the community. Since it has been concluded that an effective intervention to address the ethnic and racial disparities in childhood obesity rates can only be conducted with the participation of different stakeholders that possess the different knowledge, it is crucial to combine the multi-faceted knowledge into one cohesive strategy.
First, physicians will be involved in assessing the current health conditions of the obese children from the ethnic or racial minorities. In the case of the identified adverse effects of the disease, treatment and medication should be administered. Therefore, any issues that relate to the children’s physical health will be deal with by physicians.
Second, psychologists will conduct the mental condition of children to identify any underlying issues they may struggle with. Furthermore, this type of professional will identify problems that exist within the family as well as how such problems can be resolved. Specific interventions can be implemented to families in which the psychologist identified serious issues that could not have been addressed peacefully.
Third, the community will provide support for families and children on any level possible. Fundraising campaigns, active lifestyle programs, camps, and sports activities are effective methods for encouraging children to participate in the active lifestyle. For children to adapt in the community, it is important to create a friendly environment that will be safe and comfortable. The community can also address racial and ethnic disparities in childhood obesity by petitioning local governments to provide support the for children in need.
Fourth, parents should be active in addressing the issue of obesity in children from ethnic and racial minorities. Most importantly, any parents from any ethnic background can participate in the change process.
Therefore, the change process will be led by promoting tight interactions between main stakeholders, each of which can bring a unique contribution to the intervention.
Prediction of Effects
It is not easy to predict the outcome of the change plan as well as the change it will have on the quality of the current health care. However, it is important to note that the traditional medical attitude towards addressing racial and ethnic disparities in children with obesity will change drastically. Physicians will work in cooperation with the mental health professionals in order to get a full picture of patient’s condition as well as the main reasons why obesity developed.
Family Nurse Practitioners can become ‘connecting points’ between professionals of different backgrounds due to their widespread area of practice. Additionally, Family Nurse Practitioners can take upon the role of educators for the families and give information about the possible negative impact of childhood obesity. Holistic care and support for the obese children from ethnical and racial minorities will be regarded as one of the new adoptions in the health care policy.
It is also predicted that the new multi-faceted approach will change the way white children are treated in terms of obesity. Most notably, the policy changes will not elevate the issues of children from ethnic and racial minorities over others, rather, it will show that the same approach can be adopted to children of any background.
Bell, C., & Mjoli, T. (2014). The effects of participative leadership on organizational commitment: Comparing its effects on two gender groups among bank clerks. African Journal of Business Management, 8(12), 451-459.
Florida Board of Nursing. (2007). Nurse Practice Act.
Maddalena, V. (2016). Leadership training for undergraduate medical students. Leadersh Health Serv, 29(3), 348-351.
Orlando Health. (n.d.). Patient Portal Information.
Prieto-Remon, T., Cobo-Benita, J., Ortiz-Marcos, I., & Uruburu, A. (2015). Conflict resolution to project performance. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 194, 155-164.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2016). Declining childhood obesity rates: Where are we seeing signs of progress?
Sharifi, M., Sequist, T., Rifas-Shiman, S., Melly, S., Duncan, D., Horan, C., Smith, R., Marshall, R., & Taveras, E. (2016). The role of neighborhood characteristics and the built environment in understanding racial/ethnic disparities in childhood obesity. Preventive Medicine, 80, 15-23.
Taveras, E., Gillman, M., Kleinman, K., Rich-Edwards, W., Rifas-Shiman, S. (2013). Reducing racial/ethnic disparities in childhood obesity: The role of early life risk factors. JAMA Pediatr, 167(8), 1-15.
Thomas, A. (2013). Population-focused nurse practitioner competencies.
U.S. News. (2015). Orlando Regional Medical Center.