Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Increased Autonomy of Nurse Practitioner: A solution to the physician shortages

In the United States the issues of skyrocketed healthcare cost and shortage of primary care physician are more prevalent. Healthcare reform is the sizzling debate's topic between legislator and savvy people. Although some reluctant forces do not want to collaborate and give autonomy to Nurse Practitioners, NPs work has already proved that they can be the best solution of the existing shortages of primary care physician and increased healthcare cost. For this reason today I am going to reveal the importance of Nurse practitioner involvement in politics to gain increased autonomy over mandatory collaboration. 
Moreover, resolving the concern of primary care provider shortage and minimize the healthcare cost, Nurse Practitioners act as resolution. The political involvement of Nurse Practitioners assist in transforming the health care system and filling the gap of primary care physician in the under-served areas. All Nurse Practitioners and nursing associations should determinedly work together with policy makers to achieve reasonable and justifiable quality healthcare for all citizen including 48 million uninsured Americans, then only it is possible to change the mandatory collaboration. Pericak (2011) addressed that the solution of Physician Shortage can be done by increasing Nurse Practitioners Autonomy. Washington, New Hemisphere and Texas are the examples, who already succeeded in breaking the statutory collaborative practices because they worked together with the legislators. They did not give up their tenacious effort and unity with other advanced practice nurses. In addition, Texas was stricter in mandatory collaboration than New York, so New York NPs have to be inspired by the Texas NPs. They should be unified to focusing the social, economic, and political obstacles of healthcare, after that NPs can magnificently able to use their power to influence judicial decision.
            Furthermore, Association of American Medical Colleges (2008) depicted similar facts regarding the declined interest of medical student towards primary care. The medical school graduates of the United States choosing family medicine decreased by nearly 27% from 2002 to 2007 and the overall deficit of primary care providers are expected to worsen. Also, Healthy people 2020 outlined healthcare access, individual behavior, social environment, physical environment and genetics as the determinants of health and NPs are well educated to address these issues. Nurse practitioners can give high quality of patient centered care with nearly 155,000 solutions for this scarcity of primary care by lowering the cost (American Academy of Nurse practitioner, 2012). So, NPs can conjure up the cost of healthcare issues and fulfill the scarcity of primary care physician.
In contrast, even NPs can be a good reason for the solution of primary care providers' crisis, because of mandatory collaboration they are not allowed to practice in the underserved areas, where there is deficiency of physician to collaborate.  Additionally, Burgess and Purkis (2010, December) mentioned that politics plays the vital role for the autonomy of Nurse Practitioner and requires collaboration at all levels of healthcare system for the improvement of their role integration.  Burgess, Martin, and Senner (2011) found five keys for the NP role integration; role autonomy is one of them and pointed out that inconsistent support from site managers and policy leaders is a barrier.
Nurses are the center of healthcare system and there can be no healthcare systems without nurses. As the Patient protection and affordable healthcare act emphasized preventive approach through primary care settings, more nurse practitioners will be needed. Since, the number of doctors' interest in primary care is decreasing every year, to fill this void NPs require more autonomy and this can be achieved when they are connected to legislatures or work together to formulate policy. Furthermore, Nurse Practitioner should maintain their quality of education and sound practice to deliver affordable and quality services in underserved areas and throughout the world.
Association of American Medical Colleges (2008). Why is there a shortage of primary care doctors? Retrieved from https://www.aamc.org/linkableblob/70310-6/data/primarycarefs-data.pdf
American Academy of Nurse Practitioner (2012). What’s an NP? Retrieved from http://www.aanp.org/all-about-nps/what-is-an-np
Burgess, J.,& Purkis, ME (2010). The power and politics of collaboration in nurse practitioner role development. PubMed.org. 17(4):297-308. Doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1800.2010.00505.x.
Burgess, J., Martin, A., & Senner, M., (2011). A framework to assess nurse practitioner role integration in primary health care: Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 43(1): 22-40
Pericak, A. (2011). Increased autonomy for nurse practitioners as a solution to the physician shortage. Journal of the New York State Nurses Association, 42(1-2), 4-7. PMID: 22187859 NLM UID: 7507218

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