Advanced Nursing Practice Roles
Roles in Advanced Nursing Practice
Nurse practitioners, educators, administrators, and informaticists play critical roles in shaping the future of healthcare in advanced nursing practice (Bryant-Lukosius et al., 2004). Advanced practice nurses are typically primary care providers who are at the forefront of providing preventive healthcare to the public. As the healthcare industry becomes more complex, so does the demand for advanced nursing practice. Such people are always ensuring that the population has access to health care. Even when working in educational institutions, advanced practice nurses are always ready to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication to patients with chronic and acute illnesses. Nursing requires individuals who are as savvy and smart as they are caring and compassionate (Youngblood & Beitz, 2001). The current study looks at the four major advanced nurse practices: nurse practitioners, nurse educators, nurse administrators, and nurse informatics. The competencies of a nurse practitioner are divided into several categories, including scientific foundation competencies, leadership competencies, quality competencies, practice inquiry competencies, and technological and information literacy competencies. Nurse educators, on the other hand, are in charge of creating environments in laboratories, classrooms, and clinical settings that allow students to learn in order to achieve desired affective, cognitive, and psychomotor outcomes. A nurse informaticist, on the other hand, will look for ways to improve communication and information management in nursing in order to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve healthcare quality.
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The Functions of a Nurse Educator
When it comes to advanced nursing practices, nurse educators are first in line. Nurse educators are responsible for creating an environment in laboratories, classrooms, and clinical settings that promotes learning and the achievement of desired psychomotor, affective, and cognitive outcomes (Parse, 1992). It is a general overview of the work of nurse educators. Their sole purpose is to ensure that learners in the nursing field have a conducive environment in which to advance their competencies. A nurse educator will do so by implementing various teaching strategies that are relevant to a learner’s requirements, needs, and desired outcomes. A nurse educator will also implement evidence-based teaching strategies and educational theories in order to improve learners’ competencies (Bryant-Lukosius et al., 2004). In order to improve oneself, a nurse educator will engage in self-reflection to assess his or her competency as well as the students’ learning progress. Students will also be expected to understand and apply information technology to the learning process. Furthermore, a nurse educator must recognize his or her responsibility to assist learners in developing as nurses and integrating into the behaviors and values that people in their position should have. The primary goal here is to facilitate the development and socialization of learners (Brown, 1998).
The nurse administrator will use assessment and evaluation strategies to gauge the progress of learners in order to achieve success in the preceding process. Nurse administrators employ a variety of strategies to assess and evaluate learning in laboratories, classrooms, clinical settings, and other relevant learning domains. They do not, however, take a back seat because they can participate in the curriculum design and overall evaluation of the teaching’s outcomes. Nurse educators have a low opinion of administrators because they spend the majority of their time in educational settings. The goal of this category of nurses is to teach students how to handle a wide range of problems in the nursing field. As a result, they rarely engage in nursing practices such as patient care and illness diagnosis. Nurse educators are legally required to uphold work ethics, such as disclosing all relevant materials and facts to students about their future careers as nurses.
The Functions of a Nurse Informaticist
The role of a nurse informaticist is to find ways to improve information management and communication among nurses in order to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and improve overall healthcare quality. Nurses in this field integrate data, information, and knowledge to aid in industry decision-making. Information technology and information processes are used to support these information structures (Bryant-Lukosius et al., 2004). Furthermore, documentation is important in nursing informatics because it focuses on effective communication between patients and healthcare providers. Notes written in a patient’s chart are used here, and nursing informatics seeks to improve the timeliness, speed, and accuracy of patients’ charting (Brown, 1998).
Nursing informatics professionals strive to create user-friendly and effective systems. They consider that such systems will be used by both patients and nurses who may be unfamiliar with their operation. Nursing informatics positions include clinical informatics director, informatics nurse specialist, and clinical informatics coordinator. Nurse informaticists are employed in healthcare facilities, hospitals, consulting firms, universities, or organizations that develop and market healthcare information systems. However, some nurse informatics provide patient care (Youngblood & Beitz, 2001). The majority of this group’s efforts are directed toward developing, testing, improving, and training nurses on how to use the new healthcare information system. Recognizing nurse informaticists’ ability to reduce costs while improving quality of care, a variety of hospitals and healthcare organizations are creating staff roles for nurse informaticists in their work settings (Youngblood & Beitz, 2001).
Furthermore, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Informatics Nursing Board offers a certification exam that allows for a reliable and valid assessment of entry-level skills and clinical knowledge for registered nurses who specialize in informatics. After completing a different eligibility requirement for taking certification exams and passing, an individual is awarded the credential: Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC). This credential is valid for five years, but the qualified individual may continue to use it after renewal. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies and the Accreditation Board both accredit the ANCC certification.
The Functions of a Nurse Administrator
A nursing administrator works in almost every type of healthcare setting. In this regard, nurse administrators frequently manage a specific unit or team of nurses within the organization. These nurses have received appropriate training in their fields and have learned to hold their teams accountable for their actions and failures (Youngblood & Beitz, 2001). A nurse administrator’s primary goal is to ensure that his or her team works collaboratively to achieve desired results. Such nurses are essentially team leaders who act on the actions of their teams. Nurse administrators may interact directly with their patients at times, but they are typically assigned managerial duties. They hold the highest position in a healthcare organization as managers, and they are the ones to whom other employees in a healthcare setting report. A nurse administrator is responsible for a variety of tasks, including:
Administrative procedures for the entire nursing team must be established and documented.
Promotion of their nursing staff’s development
Taking overall responsibility for all nursing patient care.
Ensuring cost-effective budgeting and the upholding of workplace standards.
Consultation with patients and troubleshooting
Employee counseling and team-building exercises are provided.
Team members analyze diagnosis decisions and nursing treatments.
facilitating effective communication between nursing and practice personnel
All team members are scheduled and supervised.
As previously stated, a nurse administrator is primarily responsible for the organization’s administrative functions and rarely interacts directly with patients. Nurse administrators, on the other hand, have a wide range of knowledge about patient care because they frequently consult with patients and must be familiar with the practical aspects of healthcare. Nurse administrators are highly trained and have a thorough understanding of nursing protocols and procedures. They serve as pivotal leaders in a healthcare organization, but they can also aspire to executive positions because all that is required is leadership skills and focus. Nurse administrators perform best when they are managing people and processes rather than caring for patients (Dossey et al., 1995). A bachelor’s or higher education degree in nursing is required to become a nurse administrator. He/she must also have a current active RN license in a specific location in the United States. Furthermore, a person with experience in mid-level or higher administrative positions and a faculty position managing graduate nursing students has an advantage. A master’s degree in nursing administration, on the other hand, exceeds all requirements (Youngblood & Beitz, 2001).
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The Function of a Nurse Practitioner
The most common position in the nursing industry is that of a nurse practitioner. A nurse practitioner (NP) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who has completed more advanced clinical education and coursework than is required for a regular registered nurse (RN). A nurse practitioner is defined by the International Council of Nurses as a registered nurse who has acquired decision-making skills, a knowledge base, and clinical competencies for higher-level practice beyond that of a registered nurse (RN). The context in which such a person is qualified to practice strongly influences this characteristic (Thomas et al., 2012). Nurse practitioners’ care varies in the United States due to state regulation of the profession, and they are largely limited to credentials and education qualifications. Some nurse practitioners wish to work independently as physicians and be consulted on an individual basis. However, some states require collaborative agreements with qualified physicians before a health practitioner can practice. The extent of such collaborative agreements, as well as the roles, responsibilities, duties, pharmacological recommendations, and nursing treatments, varies greatly depending on the certification procedures of each state. As a result, nurse practitioners may have a variety of roles, which may include the following:
Diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of a patient’s progress for both chronic and acute illnesses.
Obtaining patient histories and performing physical examinations
Diagnostic studies, such as x-rays and lab tests, are performed and ordered.
Medications for acute and chronic diseases are prescribed.
Offering family planning services as well as prenatal care.
Providing special and primary care services to adults, including health maintenance and regular check-ups (Dossey et al., 1995).
Competency Requirements for Nurse Practitioners
Competencies in Scientific Foundations
These are the qualities that enable nurse practitioners to critically analyze the data and information needed to improve nursing practices. Furthermore, such competencies enable practitioners to successfully integrate knowledge from the sciences and humanities into nursing decision-making contexts (Thomas et al., 2012). Scientific foundation competencies also allow nurse practitioners to translate other types of knowledge and research into useful information that can be used to improve health practices. Finally, after incorporating theory and research into the field of nursing, practitioners develop new and improved approaches.
Competencies for Leadership
In nursing, leadership is all about taking the initiative. Practitioners with leadership competencies take on advanced and complex leadership roles to pioneer and guide organizational change. They are at the forefront of efforts to improve collaboration among various stakeholders in order to improve patient care (Thomas et al., 2012). Furthermore, practitioners should demonstrate reflective and critical thinking skills. They have an additional advocate for improved quality, cost, and access to effective healthcare services as leaders.
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Competencies in Quality
In terms of quality competencies, nurse practitioners use the most appropriate and available evidence to improve the quality of healthcare practices on a regular basis. Quality competencies are accompanied by an assessment of the existing relationship between safety, cost, and quality, as well as their effects on healthcare (Thomas et al., 2012). Nurse practitioners must also anticipate changes in healthcare practices and devise strategies to deal with future uncertainties.
Develop Your Inquiry Skills
These are the skills that enable nurse practitioners to be at the forefront of knowledge translation. Nurses must participate in daily activities with specialists in order to generate the knowledge needed to improve patient outcomes and practices. Nurse practitioners should also lead practice investigations, either alone or with the assistance of a competent team (Thomas et al., 2012).
Competencies in Technology and Information Literacy
Knowledge management is critical for nursing success. This category of competency enables practitioners to efficiently integrate various available technologies in the field of nursing. Nurse practitioners should be familiar with scientific and technical health information that is required for a variety of workplace needs (Thomas et al., 2012). They must also be able to demonstrate the information literacy skills required for a variety of decision-making situations. Nurse practitioners can help to design healthcare information systems that promote quality, safety, and cost-effective care.
Competencies in Policy
Policy competencies enable nurse practitioners to demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between policies and practice. Healthcare policies should be ethical and promote access, quality, and equity in all aspects. As a result, nurse practitioners with policy competencies must examine the ethical, social, and legal factors that influence the development of healthcare policies (Thomas et al., 2012). Finally, before advocating for the use of health policies in nursing, nurses can assess their implications.
The organization, environment, and population with whom to collaborate.
Nurse practitioners, as previously stated, have advanced and complex roles, and their qualifications differ from those of regular nurses. They do, however, work and operate in similar environments as other nurses. Because of the differences in qualifications and competencies, practitioners can work in a variety of fields. Nurse practitioners gain competency through mentoring patient care experiences, with a focus on inter-professional and independent practices (Naylor & Kurtzman, 2010). They work in a variety of healthcare organizations and hospitals, with responsibilities ranging from patient care to leadership. They are mostly found in hospitals because they can diagnose and treat patients. Nonetheless, the fact that they can organize a team to collaborate implies that they also take on managerial responsibilities. Furthermore, as previously stated, nurse practitioners participate in the design of healthcare information systems, putting them in a unique position to influence the overall system’s operation (Naylor & Kurtzman, 2010).
Similarly, the population with whom nurse practitioners work knows no bounds. Because of the nature of their job, they interact with almost everyone in a healthcare setting. For example, diagnosis and treatment require someone who can handle all types of patients, which nurse practitioners excel at. They also collaborate with professionals to create healthcare information systems. As a result, nurse practitioners are qualified for any job in the field and have no restrictions on what they can do (Naylor & Kurtzman, 2010).
Nurse Practitioner Leadership Qualities
According to Lewin’s research, there are three types of leadership styles, one of which I possess: participative or democratic leadership (Cherry, 2013). This, I believe, is the most effective leadership style because it involves everyone in decision-making. As a leader, I not only guide groups and teams to achieve their objectives, but I also perform the majority of the duties. For example, Lewin’s study on leadership styles discovered that children subjected to this type of leadership made much higher-quality contributions despite being less productive than members of the authoritarian category. However, I may need to hone leadership skills such as intellectual stimulation and individual consideration (Cherry, 2013). Intellectual stimulation implies that, as a leader, I will not only challenge the status quo but will also inspire my employees to be more creative. To accomplish this, I must study various fields related to healthcare and understand best practices that promote creativity. In terms of individualized consideration, I will need to encourage and support my followers.
Drug Shortage in Health Policy
Drug shortages are currently a major concern in nursing. Complex market relations have made addressing the issue of drug shortage difficult for private sector leaders and the government. Drug shortages not only reduce the quality of patient care, but also impose indirect costs on the entire system by necessitating the expenditure of money and time in searching for alternatives, modifying drug usage protocols, or rescheduling procedures (Stencel, 2014). Furthermore, in some cases, medicines cannot be substituted, so drug shortages have serious consequences for patients. Recognizing the issue, political leaders and healthcare professionals have taken various steps to alleviate the drug shortage. This policy has a direct impact on practitioners’ duties because it affects disease treatment. There are limitations to what a nurse practitioner can do in the face of a drug shortage. The Food and Drug Administration, with the help of Congress, has made efforts to alleviate drug shortages. Such efforts have primarily concentrated on regulatory issues. Nonetheless, this paper advocates for continued communication and collaboration among healthcare stakeholders and the government so that everyone is on high alert in the event of a drug shortage (Stencel, 2014).
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Advanced practice roles are extremely important for the success of nursing activities. Nurse practitioners, nurse educators, nurse administrators, and nurse informaticists are the four main advanced nursing practice roles identified in this study. A nurse practitioner’s competency, for example, is divided into several categories, including scientific foundation competencies, leadership competencies, quality competencies, practice inquiry competencies, and technological and information literacy competencies. The advanced role chosen for this paper is nurse practitioner, which entails a variety of competencies such as scientific foundation, leadership, and policy competencies. Furthermore, because they engage in a variety of practices, nurse practitioners work in virtually all healthcare settings. They interact with everyone in the field because their knowledge is required in all aspects. A nurse practitioner is defined by the International Council of Nurses as a registered nurse who has acquired decision-making skills, a knowledge base, and clinical competencies for higher-level practice beyond that of a registered nurse (RN). In a different vein, this paper identifies drug shortage policy as the most pressing concern for nurse practitioners. It advocates for increased communication among all nursing stakeholders, as well as for the government to raise awareness of drug shortages and take appropriate action.