The evolution and gradual developments in the modern world have been accompanied by the rise of a plethora of professional sectors and the rise of these has been influenced by the need to earn a living and the developments in the global educational sector. Arguably, professionalism has become one of the key elements or aspects in every sector. For instance, the need to have an effective and efficient financial sector globally has seen the rise of certified professional accountants. Some of the outstanding characteristics exhibited by professionals in the workplace include trust, competence, respect, integrity, consideration, empathy, dependability, cooperation, and commitment to others (Campbell & Taylor, 2008). The global health sector has not been left behind when focus is on the level and need for professionalism. In the recent years, the global health sector has seen the rise of several professional physicians and nurses that have played an integral role in ensuring that efficiency, accountability, and effectiveness in the sector are achieved. Today, the healthcare industry is ranked among the most successful industries, and this is attributed to the efforts and struggle of the nursing practitioners in the sector.
The misconception among people that physicians play a junk of the roles in the sector should be done away with. Every patient visiting a health care center would have a confession of how professional nurses are committed to the achievement of efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability in their workplaces. With these perspectives in mind, the need to focus on the role of Certified Nurse Practitioners becomes evident in the modern world. Thus, a comparison and contrast of the Certified Nurse Practitioner role to other roles especially in the healthcare sector is a concern in this case. People especially patients should clearly understand the job description as well as the roles played by professional nurses in every healthcare setting. Moreover, like other professions, there are leadership functions attributed to the nursing profession, and having a clear understanding of these is mandatory.
In addition, various states and governments have come up with healthcare structures and policies that have to some extent impacted on the roles played by Certified Nurse Practitioners. Therefore, a discussion of how the current United States healthcare structure, and in particular, the Affordable Care Act, provides a perfect platform for understanding the impacts and influences of healthcare structures on the ideal roles played by certified nurses in the nursing profession.
While Certified Nurse Practitioners is commonly mentioned in the global healthcare industry, majority of people are unaware of what or who they are, nor their roles and contributions to global development. Apparently, CRNPs are distinct and different from mere nurses in the healthcare sector, and this is tempered by the fact that they are licensed healthcare practitioners, with the knowledge, skills, and myriads of abilities that are mandatory and are essential in the field of clinical practice. The aforementioned abilities, skills, and knowledge exhibited by CRNPs in healthcare settings are acquired or obtained from the nursing discipline taught in colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher learning (Thomas et al, 2011). The number of CRNPs graduating from institutions of higher learning grows each day, and a perfect reason for this is the high demand of professional nursing services in the global healthcare sector. In fact, the need to improve the health and living standards has raised the demand, and to some extent the cost of the services provided by the CRNPs in the healthcare industry.
Governments have realized the need to reduce the costs of such services by coming up with acts such as the Affordable Care Act in the US, that dictates a reduction of the costs as well as affordability of the services provided in the healthcare sector for both the rich and poor individuals in the country. Notably, the act has impacted on the roles played by the CRNPs in the United States.
The distinction of CRNPs in the global healthcare sector is evident in the fact that they are responsible for the management of acute as well as chronic medical conditions, both physical and mental, and this is achieved through focusing on history and the physical examination of patients and the ordering of diagnostic tests and medical treatments. The qualification of CRNPs in the diagnosis of medical problems and issues arising among patients is irrefutable. Notably, the nursing profession or job as witnessed in healthcare settings involves the diagnosis of medical problems, ordering treatments, performing advanced procedures, prescribing medications as instructed by physicians and other medical professionals, and making referrals for several acute and chronic conditions exhibited by patients (Thomas et al, 2011).
Like in other professions, the learning process for CRNPs is a continuous and gradual process that continues within the scope of practice in healthcare institutions. They learn more about medicines, medical diagnoses, as well as medical treatments during their practice. The institutions that provide platforms for the CRNPs to offer their services include both private and public hospitals, private offices, clinics, pharmacies, nursing homes and other healthcare settings. Some nurses often opt for private duties due to the accompanying benefits such as higher incomes, and in such cases, they are obliged to contract out their services for private duties.
Comparison and contrast of the Certified Nurse Practitioner role
Prior to the focus on the roles played by CRNPs, it should be noted that the similarity of the profession with others is that the regulation of nurse practitioners is at two different levels in most countries. In essence, as seen in the US, the provision of licenses to CRNPs takes place at the state level, and this is strictly controlled and regulated by the stipulated state laws. On the other hand, national organizations also have the mandate of certifying the CRNPs, and this is often in consistency with professional standards, policies and regulations across all the states and local authorities in a country (Thomas et al, 2011).
In accordance with professional guidelines, theory, and research, it is manifested that in every profession, the existence and exhibition of competencies based on scientific foundation is crucial to its success, cooperation among individuals, and smooth operation. Thus, when compared to other professions, it is noticeable that CRNPs also exhibit scientific foundation competencies when carrying out their roles. Essentially, CRNPs play a key role in the critical analysis of data and evidence in healthcare settings, and this facilitates the improvement of advanced nursing practice (Naylor & Kurtzman, 2010). Furthermore, the integration of knowledge from the sciences and humanities within the nursing science context is an evidence of the scientific foundation competencies exhibited by CRNPs. In the same vein, CRNPs influence the translation of research and other forms of knowledge with an eye on the improvement of practice processes and outcomes in healthcare settings. The similarity with other professions in the exhibition of scientific foundations is also underlined by the fact that CRNPs help in the development of new practice approaches that are based on the integration of research, practice knowledge, and theory.
Subsequently, professional guidelines, theory, and literature stipulate that in every profession, the exhibition of leadership qualities is a prerequisite, and this is because without leadership or management, then the possibility of a particular profession taking a wrong direction is at maximum. Thus, the comparison of the Certified Nursing Practitioner role to the mentioned aspects is evident in the fact that the persons involved are obliged to assume complex and advanced roles with the aim of initiating and guiding change. In line with the leadership competencies seen in the CRNP role, the persons involved play a crucial role in the provision of leadership and this fosters the collaboration with a plethora of stakeholders such as the community, patients, policy makers, and the healthcare teams integrated in the process (Naylor & Kurtzman, 2010). The obligation of the CRNP role to exhibit leadership competencies is also evidenced by the fact that nurses in health care settings are often involved in the advocating for improvement in the quality, access, and cost-effectiveness of health care.
The necessity of technology and information literacy in every profession as stipulated in professional guidelines, theory, and research cannot be ignored when focusing on the Certified Nursing Practitioner role. In essence, the application of CRNP emphasizes the utilization of technology and information within the nursing practice, and this is underscored by the variety of information-technology related responsibilities and functions carried out by CRNP within the nursing practice. Arguably, CRNPs handle the integration of appropriate technologies for the management and improvement of health care. Besides, their responsibility and functionality in the assessment of technical and scientific health information that is in appropriation with the needs of various users within healthcare settings cannot be left out. Also, in most cases, when carrying out their responsibilities in healthcare institutions, CRNPs integrate information and technology literacy skills in decision-making processes (Naylor & Kurtzman, 2010). Moreover, as seen in the modern healthcare industry, clinical information systems have to some extent been incorporated in the promotion of safe, quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare, and this is an implication of the technology information competencies integrated into the CRNP role as stipulated in professional guidelines, theory, and research.
Existence of leadership functions in the CRNP role
A crucial reiteration is that the CRNP role in the modern world has been reinvigorated by the fact that just like in other professions; leadership functions are present in it. As mentioned earlier, leadership carries the burden of ensuring that the operations of a particular profession are smooth and successful. It should be noted that the several leadership functions carried out by CRNPs within the nursing practice are an illustration of the fact that the CRNP role has integrated leadership functions. One of the leadership functions in the role is evident in the fact that the assumption of complex and advanced strategies in the initiation and guidance of change in healthcare settings is left for CRNPs (Watson, 2008). On the other hand, leadership functionality in the role is underlined by the fact that CRNPs facilitate the provision of leadership and guidance that foster collaboration and cooperation among stakeholders such as patients, the community policy makers, and integrated healthcare teams. Also, a leadership function in the CRNP role can be attested to the fact that CRNPs use critical and creative thinking when carrying out their responsibilities and this is one of the major responsibilities and functions carried out by leaders in the workplace environment. The fact that the CRNP role has leadership functions is owed to the CRNPs’ advocacy for improvements in the access, quality, and cost-effectiveness of healthcare.
In addition, the existence of leadership functions can be underlined by the fact that Certified Nursing Practitioners play a crucial role in the development and implementation of innovations that incorporate principles of change (Watson, 2008). Most importantly, it should be noted that in every healthcare setting, Certified Nurse Practitioners are often at the forefront in exhibiting effective communication both orally and in writing and this is one of the key elements of leaders; hence, the fact that the CRNP role has leadership functions cannot be compromised. Moreover, the participation of CRNPs in professional organizations and activities that improve the nursing practice (Watson, 2008) to some extent influence advanced nursing demonstrates that the CRNP role has leadership functions.
Impact of the Affordable Care Act on the CRNP role
A great inception that marked an improvement of the healthcare industry in the United States was the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. The act signed by President Barack Obama into law on March 23, 2010, saw an overhaul of the healthcare system of the United States. Its major achievement is that it increased the affordability as well as the quality of health insurance for individuals despite the socio-economic class. However, the embrace of the act has to some extent impacted on the Certified Nurse Practitioner role. From a positive standpoint, the act has increased the number of patients seen by nurses on a daily basis; hence, the commitment by Certified Nurse Practitioner has been enhanced (Capretta & Moffit, 2012). Besides, the act has seen the development of more preventive care appointments that are often led by nurses, and this wraps up its positive impact on the CRNP role.
Moreover, the embracing and enforcement of the Affordable Care Act in the US has seen an increased demand for travelling nurses, who are forced to move from one healthcare institution to another especially during shortages, and this is an illustration of how the act has impacted on the CRNP role (Capretta & Moffit, 2012). From a negative standpoint, the act has jeopardized the CRNP role because the number of patients seeing for health care has tripled in the recent years and has in fact exceeded the workforce. In essence, the CRNPs are are overworked because of the act.
In conclusion, the application of the CRNP role follows professional guidelines, theory, and literature. This is attributed to the fact that as clearly stipulated in the guidelines, theory, and literature, the CRNP role exhibits numerous competencies including scientific foundation, leadership, quality, practice inquiry, technology and information literacy competencies and others. The CRNP role also has leadership functions as evidenced by the fact that the persons involved assume complex and advanced leadership roles in the initiation and guidance of change, use of critical and reflective thinking, the development and implementation of innovations that incorporate principles of change and others. Moreover, from the discussion, it comes to light that healthcare structures adopted by governments such as the Affordable Care Act of the United States impact on the CRNP role.
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Capretta, J. C., & Moffit, R. E. (2012). How to replace Obamacare. National Affairs, 11, 3-21.
Naylor, M. D., & Kurtzman, E. T. (2010). The role of nurse practitioners in reinventing primary care. Health Affairs, 29(5), 893-899.
Thomas, A. C., Dumas, M. A., Kleinpell, R., Logsdon, M. C., Julie Marfell, D. N. P., & Nativio, D. G. (2011). Nurse practitioner core competencies April 2011 amended 2012.
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