Response to a Discussion
A Nurse Practitioner (NP) plays a significant role in the United States’ (US) ever-changing health care system. According to Gonzalez and Gigli (2021), the Family Nurse Practitionerâ€™s (FNP) â€œrole includes providing wellness care and the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of chronic conditions and stabilization of acute conditionsâ€ (p. 848). Moreover, Teuteberg, Newcomb, and Sosa (2019) mentioned that the patients who do not adequately see their primary providers and are experiencing chronic diseases that are left untreated will result in hospitalization and complications. FNPs who are working in the family practice will screen, evaluate, and monitor patients who have a chronic illness for all age groups. I was able to do clinical in a Vietnamese family practice where there are many adults and older adult patients. I was able to learn about the guidelines for different diseases and when to screen for cancers and other chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and latent tuberculosis. For instance, my preceptor usually screens his patients for type two diabetes mellitus annually if the previous fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C results were normal, and the patients do not experience any symptoms. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is one of the chronic diseases that need to be monitored closely since it can result in many complications, such as neuropathy, retinopathy, nephropathy, and delays in wound healing if the blood glucose is not controlled. The FNPs should know the appropriate referrals for these patients in order to prevent further complications. For example, we should ensure that these patients are referred to the ophthalmologist. Lastly, the FNPs should learn and keep their information up to date in order to provide appropriate and safe care for their patients.
Response to a Discussion
NPs play a significant role in the US healthcare system regarding improving the quality of care and filling the gap created by the increasing shortage of physicians. NPs have received advanced training thus can perform advanced clinical roles. They have graduate-level education with masters or doctoral degrees. The knowledge enables them to practice beyond their initial registered nurse preparation and in a wide range of clinical settings (Brown, 2019). NPs blend their clinical expertise with research and evidence-based clinical guidelines, thus providing quality care. Therefore, they must keep current with the updated clinical guidelines through research and networking to remain relevant in their field.
Due to the advanced training, NPs can also practice independently without physicians’ oversight and establish a private practice. However, this depends on the state laws in which they operate. Some states have more strict laws governing NP practice compared to others. However, those who have embraced NP autonomy are already enjoying increased access and quality of care and reduced care delays. Research demonstrates that as the NP role becomes more common, more and more patients prefer NPs as their primary care providers to physicians (Jiao et al., 2018). Many patients report that that NPs provide better care compared to physicians.
Due to their training as primary care providers, NPs spend more time with patients during the assessment, listen more closely, provide more feedback, provide equitable, patient-centred, and evidence-based care, show more respect for patients’ opinions, and are more sensitive to patient’s needs, thus often advocate for patients needs in clinical settings (Norful et al., 2018). Consequently, the NP role is associated with excellent outcomes, increased patient satisfaction, reduced risk of hospitalization, and fewer emergency room visits than physicians. Although NPS plays a significant role in US healthcare, the transition from RN to NP is often challenging, primarily due to the complexity of the US healthcare system. Therefore, to ensure the public continues to benefit from NP roles, there is a need to support NPs transition through mentoring by more experienced NPs and physicians and giving them time to rehearse their roles during the transition period (Finneran & Kreye, 2021).
Brown, M. A. (2019). NP-led practice improvement: A novice takes the leap. The Nurse Practitioner, 44(4), 12. doi: 10.1097/01.NPR.0000554089.79900.2b
Finneran, J. M., & Kreye, J. M. (2021). Empowering the novice family nurse practitioner: Promoting readiness to practice through immersion in an innovative educational strategy. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 33(5), 383-390. doi: 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000336
Jiao, S., Murimi, I. B., Stafford, R. S., Mojtabai, R., & Alexander, G. C. (2018). Quality of prescribing by physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in the United States. Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy, 38(4), 417-427. https://doi.org/10.1002/phar.2095
Norful, A. A., Dillon, J. C., Ye, S., & Poghosyan, L. (2018). The perspectives of nurse practitioners and physicians on increasing the number of registered nurses in primary care. Nursing economic$, 36(4), 182. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8172063/