The Role Of The Family Nurse Practitioner

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The Role of the Family Nurse Practitioner
Deborah Rodriguez-Bitler
South University
The Role of the Family Nurse Practitioner
Introduction
Historically, there have been many instances in American history where legislation and medicine allowed Advanced Practice Nurses (APN) to serve in expanded roles or definitions (Delgado, 2014). This was especially true in areas that were poor or underserved (Delgado, 2014). It is also possible to look back in history and see a direct relationship with times of increased demand for care, (i.e. war, economic depression), and the increased roles allowed and assumed by APN’s. Today, like many other periods throughout our history, there is an increase need for care related to similar events of the past (i.e. war, economic depression); but also related to the increase in access to care as provided by the Affordable Care Act, as well as the growth in our older population, which is a direct result of living longer and better access to care (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2015). Unfortunately, the customary allowance of role expansion for APNs to address this ever growing need has been slow to come or restrictive at best (Schiff, 2012 & Naylor & Kurtzman, 2010). Description of the Family Nurse Practitioner Role

The program of the APN-Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) offered through South University is designed to prepare FNP’s within both healthcare and professional standards in order to treat patients and their families across the lifespan (South University, 2015). These educational goals are consistent with the FNP practice standards set by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN), which states that APRNs should first obtain a master’s degree or higher, achieve the necessary certification to practice, as well as, maintaining continued competence (AACN, 2006). These educational goals are also consistent with the APRN Consensus Model which defines APRNs role to include, the FNP, is to filled by a graduate level nurse with advanced clinical knowledge and skills to provide direct patient care, to promote health, prevention, and detection of disease or injury through supportive intervention, counseling and teaching (2008). It goes further to list the FNP roles to include prescribing medications, diagnosing, and patient referral; however the level of autonomy varies from state to state (Schiff, 2012 & Naylor & Kurtzman, 2010). Again, the role of the APRN-FNP is a clinical role requiring direct patient care, according to the APRN Consensus (2008). Promoting Patient Safety According to the NPSG Program

The National Patient Safety Goals Program established by the Joint Commission, relies heavily on practitioner and healthcare team reporting. The APRN-FNP would be responsible for the accurate and timely reporting of sentinel events, patient safety concerns, or improved safety standards as supported by evidence (Joint Commission, 2015). The APRN-FNP would also be tasked with maintaining patient-centered care with an emphasis on improving quality, remaining competent and continuously advancing skills and knowledge in efforts to keep patients safe. (JCCAMH, 2015). Article Review

In the articles selected for this project, the research reiterates the exponential growth in healthcare demands, which directly increases the need for more primary care providers. APRN- FNPs make up the largest number on non-physician primary care providers in the country (Schiff, 2012 & Naylor & Kurtzman, 2010). This, coupled with the fact that primary care providers are usually the patient’s first entry into the healthcare system, allows increased opportunity for the APRN- FNP, while maintaining appropriate roles, to meet this growing demand. The articles go own to suggest that many states continue to stifle the autonomy and/or role of the APRN-FNP related to outdated information and at times, physician led groups of opposition to expanded APRN roles (Schiff, 2012). This occurs...
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