September 30, 2014
Due to the rapid changes and complexity in healthcare, nurses are pursuing higher education and specialized training. This specialized training has produced what we now call advance practice nurses. Advance practice nurses can function independently or in partnership with other physicians. These nurses play a vital role in healthcare. There are four types of advance practice nurses; clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners. The role of the nurse practitioner has changed from being an assistant to meeting the healthcare needs of patients when no physician is available. Nurse practitioners may specialize in a variety of settings, but are not limited to; primary care, acute care, palliative care, infectious disease, and gerontology. Becoming a nurse practitioner requires a Master of Science in nursing, post masters, or Doctor of nursing practice (Britt, 2012). The services provided by nurse practitioners include; diagnosing and treating health problems, adult and well child checks, prescribing medications, teaching health promotion while promoting disease prevention (Britt, 2012). Healthcare reform which has led to increase accessibility of healthcare has created more opportunities for nurse practitioners in the primary care setting (AAON, 2014). Nurse practitioners are visible in the acute and critical care settings. In the acute setting, they are using evidence based practice to manage care of the critically ill (AAON, 2014). According to the American Association of Nurses, “nurse practitioners are more likely to adhere to clinical practice guidelines that improve patient outcomes (AAON, 2014). Nurse practitioners tent to engage patients in their care by helping them understand t and measures they can take for improvements (Britt, 2012). Despite the enormous contributions nurse practitioners are giving to healthcare, there are barriers...
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