Week 8: Analysis of Policies: Putting It all Together
Discussion 8.1: Presentation of Health Care Policy Project and Critique
1. Identify a healthcare policy issue in nursing practice.
2. Analyze its impact on the health of U.S. citizens and the practice of advanced practice nurses (APRNs).
3. Gather current policy literature and articles regarding the identified healthcare policy issue.
4. Disseminate this health policy issue/topic to your peers in written and verbal forms.
Healthcare policy, at the national and state levels, directly impacts the practice of nurses, nurse leaders, and APRNs. At the federal level, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) brought opportunities (access to care) and challenges (individual mandate/proof of insurance) for U.S. citizens, primary care providers, and healthcare systems. The Future of Nursing, a landmark Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, continues to influence federal and state policies related to scope of practice and collaborative agreements. Become familiar with the details of the ACA legislation and the IOM Report.
Analysis of Policies
Various healthcare policies have been implemented in the US to promote the healthcare system. One of them includes the Affordable Care Act. This healthcare policy aimed to provide affordable health insurance coverage for all Americans. Millions of Americans have benefited from this healthcare policy receiving insurance coverage through the healthcare policy, including the unemployed and low-income individuals. However, this policy has contributed to various issues in the US, including the nursing shortage (Vaughan Prengaman et al., 2018). The demand for nursing services has increased significantly due to increased access to care among several groups of people, including older adults. The need for nurses is expected to rise to about 3.2 million in 2024 from 2.75 million in 2016 (AACN, 2020).
The issue of nursing shortage in the US affects the health of US citizens. First, it contributes to high patient mortality. Nursing shortage encourages delayed treatment, which affects the quality of care patients receive negatively. Also, the lack of nurses is one of the reasons contributing to the overcrowding of patients in hospital departments, including the emergency rooms (Haddad et al., 2020). This issue increases the duration of hospitalization and even death. Besides, this issue affects the practice of advanced practice nurses (APRNs). APRNs working in understaffed nursing units are forced to work for long hours, which makes them get exhausted mentally and physically (Haddad et al., 2020).
According to Zhang et al. (2018), the demand for registered nurses in the Us is likely to increase significantly compared to the supply of RNs. This is expected to lead to nursing shortage by 2030. Therefore, there is a need to implement various interventions to address this issue. Neff et al. (2018) identify the need for expanding the nurse practitioner (NP) workforce to reduce the address the problem of nursing shortage. Thus, the researcher proposes that allowing NPs full autonomy to practice can help address the lack of nurses by enhancing access to care.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). (2020). Nursing Shortage. Retrieved from https://www.aacnnursing.org/news-information/fact-sheets/nursing-shortage
Haddad, L. M., Annamaraju, P., & Toney-Butler, T. J. (2020). Nursing shortage. StatPearls [Internet]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493175/
Neff, D. F., Yoon, S. H., Steiner, R. L., Bejleri, I., Bumbach, M. D., Everhart, D., & Harman, J. S. (2018). The impact of nurse practitioner regulations on population access to care. Nursing outlook, 66(4), 379-385. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0029655417306164
Vaughan Prengaman, M., Welle, D. L., Ridenour, N., & Mueller, K. J. (2018). Diverse stakeholder perspectives on rural health care reform in a US state that rejected the affordable care act: A case study. Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d309/7cfb30234d49c2ea0dadb54257b0f1f7ad17.pdf.
Zhang, X., Tai, D., Pforsich, H., & Lin, V. W. (2018). United States registered nurse workforce report card and shortage forecast: a revisit. American Journal of Medical Quality, 33(3), 229-236. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1062860617738328