In the recent past, the U.S. government has been focusing on various measures to restructure the country’s healthcare sector. One of the targeted areas is that of nursing. It is agreeable that practitioners form a significant percentage of the country’s health workforce. Due to their massive numbers, the implementation of sustainable measures can transform and improve nursing practice to meet the needs of more patients. This discussion examines the nature of this potential change and development.
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Nursing Practice: Growth and Change
Xue and Intrator (2016) indicate that the role of nurses in acute care settings and hospitals is expected to change in the near future. This is the case because more practitioners will be expected to practice in accordance with their educational achievements or attainments. This change will empower them to provide quality medical care in numerous settings. Experts and professionals in healthcare believe that new nursing roles will be available in the community. Nurses should, therefore, be prepared for this change and focus on the best approaches to develop superior competencies and be part of this transformation.
Several concepts can be considered to predict this kind of transformation. To begin with, continuum or continuity of care is a new approach whereby physicians and practitioners can track their patients over a prolonged period. This concept has been informed by the need for high-quality health services across all levels to improve people’s health outcomes (Jeffries, 2015). With this model, it is quite clear that more nurses will be required to address patients’ needs from their family settings.
Accountable care organizations (ACOs) have also become common in the country. This concept refers to a group of hospitals, healthcare providers, and physicians who form voluntary relationships to offer coordinated and high-quality medical services to different Medicare patients (Jeffries, 2015). Citizens who have Original Medicare (OM) are capable of receiving medical support from these organizations. This model is capable of informing new approaches whereby nurses can join such organizations to deliver desirable health services to more patients.
Another change taking place in the country’s health sector revolves around the managed care model. This system is designed in such a way that various activities are considered to minimize healthcare costs while at the same time improving the quality of services. Medical homes have also become common in different parts of the world. This model focuses on the prevention and management of various diseases. Using this approach, communities can record quality health outcomes, minimize medical disparities, and reduce costs (Jeffries, 2015). This emerging change should be considered by nurses in order to achieve their aims. This means that more nurse practitioners will be required to offer primary care in family units and medical homes. This approach has gained popularity since the idea of prevention is important.
Finally, the number of nurse-managed health clinics is expected to increase as practitioners continue to receive desirable empowerment in accordance with the 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report. With appropriate educational attainment, more advanced practice nurses (APNs) will be in a position to start their private clinics in different communities and deliver primary medical care. From this analysis, it is quite evident that the field of nursing is advancing and changing in accordance with the emerging needs of more patients. Nurses must, therefore, be prepared for these developments, acquire appropriate competencies, and take up numerous roles in their communities (McMurray & Cooper, 2015). They should also be ready to join various organizations, partnerships, and groups if they are to remain relevant. With these initiatives, chances are high that more practitioners will have increased job opportunities, earn competitive salaries, and transform the health outcomes of more American citizens.
Feedback Shared by Nurse Colleagues
After sharing the researched information with the first colleague, meaningful insights were gained that resonated with the changes experienced in the sector. To begin with, he indicated clearly that he was aware of the new developments that had the potential to transform this industry. He also explained how nurses were required to pursue new programs and skills in order to meet the needs of more patients. The respondent asserted that there was a shift in the way primary care was being delivered to different patients. This was the case because many individuals were receiving medical services from family nursing homes.
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The outstanding message gained from this colleague was that nurses should be ready to acquire superior competencies and skills. They should also focus on the concept of lifelong learning to expand their models and be in a position to meet the diverse needs of more patients (Hoffman & Guttendorf, 2017). The respondent also explained why it was necessary for nurses to continue monitoring these emerging developments. By so doing, they would identify the emerging needs of many people and populations in their communities. This move, according to the respondent, will definitely make it easier for more nurses to achieve their potential.
The second colleague appeared to be skeptical. This was the case because he did appreciate the presented changes in the health care sector. According to the respondent, the number of primary healthcare settings was on the rise in the country. He also asserted that more physicians were opening their private clinics than ever before. This means that patients would be looking for sustainable health services from such facilities (Jennings, Clifford, Fox, O’Connell, & Gardner, 2015). This colleague also believed that the suggested changes could take time before becoming a reality. The existing hospital settings and community clinics, according to him, had existed in the country for many decades.
With this kind of feedback, I decided to engage and educate him by outlining the reality of this potential change. I explained how more patients will be in need of continuous care in the near future. This means that family nursing units will emerge in different regions. Additionally, I explained how nurses who acquire advanced education will be ready to start their private clinics. With the current problem of employment opportunities, nurses will be required to start their new clinics and medical homes (Jeffries, 2015). This move will improve the healthcare sector and support the needs of more patients in the country.
The third colleague acknowledged that there were numerous changes in the health care sector. For instance, he revealed that nursing roles were shifting from hospital to community-based settings. With the emergence of many clinics, nurses were required to offer evidence-based services in the rural settings (Jennings et al., 2015). Since many terminal diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer are on the rise, nurses will be required to operate in family nursing units to meet the health needs of more patients in the community.
He acknowledged that emerging trends such as ACOs, medical homes, private practices, and continuity (or continuum) of care were transforming the nature of nursing practice (Xue & Intrator, 2016). The respondent revealed how he was prepared for such developments and changes. The individual believed that the adoption of such concepts could improve the health care sector and address every emerging medical challenge.
The above analyses have revealed that the impressions resented by colleagues I and II were consistent with the issues researched about health reform. Latest policies such as Medicare payment programs were facilitating new changes such as bundled payments, ACOs, nurse-managed health clinics, and medical homes (Hoffman & Guttendorf, 2017). These developments are currently being informed by the changes experienced in the health care sector (Xue & Intrator, 2016). The respondents acknowledged that many nurses were willing to be part of health reform and address the emerging needs of more patients.
However, respondent II did not appreciate the fact that there were numerous changes capable of transforming nursing practice. This was the reason why I took my time to sensitize him about these developments. The above discussions have shown conclusively that new reforms are being experienced in the healthcare field (Hoffman & Guttendorf, 2017). Such changes were informing new models and approaches for addressing the needs of different patients.
In conclusion, it would be appropriate for nurses to develop superior competencies and philosophies in order to be prepared for these emerging trends. They must also improve their leadership models and care delivery approaches. The problem of nursing shortage should be taken seriously by practitioners in order to join ACOs or start their private clinics. This approach will transform the sector and support the emerging health needs of more American citizens.
Hoffman, L., A., & Guttendorf, J. (2017). Preparation and evolving role of the acute nurse practitioner. Chest Journal, 152(6), 1339-1345. Web.
Jeffries, P. R. (2015). The evolving health care system: The need for nursing education reform. Journal of Professional Nursing, 31(6), 441-443. Web.
Jennings, N., Clifford, S., Fox, A. R., O’Connell, J., & Gardner, G. (2015). The impact of nurse practitioner services on cost, quality of care, satisfaction and waiting times in the emergency department: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 52, 421-435.
McMurray, A., & Cooper, H. (2015). The nurse navigator: An evolving model of care. Collegian, 24, 205-212. Web.
Xue, Y., & Intrator, O. (2016). Cultivating the role of nurse practitioners in providing primary care to vulnerable populations in an era of health-care reform. Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice, 17(1), 24-31. Web.