The healthcare sector in the United States and other countries of the world is significantly affected by factors such as demographics, legislation, scientific advancement, and development goals. These changes affect the role of nurse practitioners, including Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP), causing shifts in the job market. For instance, various reports indicate that the demand for nurse practitioners is going to rise at a steady pace over the next years (Japsen, 2017). The present paper will review the evolving role of FNPs and explain major global and national forces that influence the job market for this profession.
In recent years, the role of FNPs has evolved from that of supporting care personnel to one of the key players in the healthcare system. In clinical settings, nurse practitioners are an integral part of the healthcare system. They spend more time with patients than other health professionals and have a broad scope of responsibilities. They also work as part of interprofessional teams to ensure a high quality of care and improve patient outcomes. The job market for FNPs in the United States is also developing. It is now characterized by high demand and the increased scope of responsibilities (Japsen, 2017). One of the main reasons for these changes is the Affordable Care Act.
As a result of this legislation, the paradigm of care has shifted “from a disease model of treating episodic illness, without attention to quality outcomes, to a focus on health and systems that reward providers for quality outcomes and intervening to prevent illness and disease progression” (Salmond & Echevarria, 2017, p. 16). With an emphasis on care quality, chronic disease management, and prevention, the new model of health care increased the demand for care providers who work closely with a variety of patients and health professionals, thus improving the job market for FNPs.
On the global level, the healthcare job market is primarily affected by the development of medicine in developing countries and the changing demographics in developed nations. For example, in European countries, there is an increased demand for geriatric health services, whereas some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa still experience high infant mortality. According to the United Nations (2015) report, the critical Millennium Development Goals in relation to health care are combatting infectious diseases, hunger, child mortality, and maternal mortality.
The qualifications and experience of FNPs enable them to contribute to solving all of the above problems. Thus, in the global healthcare context, the work of FNPs is particularly relevant, as they can help to achieve health in diverse populations. It is also crucial to note that the flexibility of FNPs and their expertise enables them to aid in building systems of health education and care delivery in developing nations.
Overall, FNPs are unique specialists that can help to improve health of various population groups using their academic and clinical experience. This position makes FNPs an essential part of national and global healthcare systems. In the United States, FNPs can contribute to enhancing care quality and health promotion efforts under the Affordable Care Act. On the global scene, FNPs aid the development of healthcare in emerging countries, thus also helping to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. All of these factors shape the global job market for FNPs, increasing the demand for these health professionals and their scope of work.
Japsen, B. (2017). Nurse practitioner demand eclipses doctors as states lift hurdles. Forbes. Web.
Salmond, S. W., & Echevarria, M. (2017). Healthcare transformation and changing roles for nursing. Orthopedic Nursing, 36(1), 12-25.
United Nations (UN). (2015). The Millennium Development Goals report 2015. Web.