ADVANCED ROLE IN NURSING 1
Advanced practicing registered nurses (APRNs) serve essential rolesin providing acute care, pediatric care, maternity care, chronicdisease management, adult primary care, and mental health treatment.They are registered nurses who have additional training, education,and certification in a given field of practice. There are manypotential issues which can influence their practice setting. Thispaper covers the legislative issues affecting advanced practicenursing formulates a possible policy change to address that matter.
Legislative Issues Affecting Advanced Practice Nursing
Legal issues affecting advanced practice nursing refer to thepolicies or laws enacted by legislatures to give guidelines in thefield of advanced practice nursing. There are some legal issues,which are very restrictive thus, affect the advanced nursingpractice by hindering APRNs from serving patients better [ CITATION Ste15 l 1033 ].One of these issues is the requirement that APRNs should have atraining arrangement with supervising physicians. Existing healthcarelaws limit them from ordering diagnostic tests and prevent them fromwriting prescriptions for certain medications like Schedule II. Suchlegislative issues deny them the opportunity to practice theirtraining and education to a full limit. Many hospitals have physicianshortage and given that APRNs are restricted to perform certainroles, the healthcare system, particularly primary care, has gaps(Phillips, 2014).
To address this problem, the current health care policies should bechanged to give APRNs full practice authority, for instance, theyshould be authorized to make Schedule II prescriptions and ordertests for radiographic imaging such as CT scans and MRIs duringemergencies. There should be impartial and fair governing boardoversight of APRNs. Access to care should also be improved byauthorizing third-party cover of APRN care and allowing patients toselect providers of their choice. The healthcare workforce shouldalso be given more support by creating more clinical training andgraduate level education opportunities for nurses. The primary goalsfor these changes include giving APRNs the chance to practice theirtraining and education to full limit, filling the gaps created byphysician shortages, and improving healthcare.
Indeed, these changes would improve the services of APRNs andpotentially decrease the cost of healthcare for consumers since APRNswould have the opportunity to practice their training to a fullextent. Furthermore, giving the boards of nursing the capacity todictate APRNs’ practice requirements would increase cooperation andAPRN practice would be less restricted. These changes would alsoincrease competition in the advanced nursing practice as well asincentivize these nurses to practice. They would also attract morenursing graduates to advanced practice nursing thus, addressing thethreat of availability and quality of healthcare. Furthermore,studies show that many patients are satisfied with APRNs’ care andthat the latter outperform physicians on measures that are related toprovision of assessment, counseling, and screening services patientfollow-up and time spent during consultations (Cassidy, 2012).
Even though APRNs serve many patient populations in every type ofhealthcare setting, some legislation issues hinder them from offeringcertain services. Such restrictions lower competition in the advancedpractice nursing and discourage new nursing graduates from joiningthis field. That results in low-quality healthcare therefore, it isimperative to make changes to legislative issues around advancedpractice nursing and give APRNs the authority to practice theireducation and training to a full degree.
Cassidy, A. (2012, October 25). Health Policy Brief: Nurse Practitioners and Primary Care. Retrieved from Health Affairs: Available at: http://healthaffairs.org/healthpolicybriefs/brief_pdfs/healthpolicybrief_79.pdf
Phillips, S. J. (2014). 26th Annual Legislative Update: Progress for APRN Authority. The Nurse Practitioner, 29-52.
Stephens, B. J. (2015). Perspectives on Advanced Practice Registered Nursing in Georgia. Atlanta: Georgia Watch.