Nurse Practitioners and their Roles

Nurse Practitioners and their Roles

Role of nurses in the health sector

Today, the health system has become a dynamic working environment that has been heightened by the vital role that is played by technology. Technology has made it possible in the characterization of nurses according to a variety of roles that they play in the health sector. Most emphatically, technology plays vital roles in nursing work as well as in education. For this reason, there is a need of studying the different roles of nurses closely studying their inter-relationships and factors that integrate them in the health sector (Denner & Stewart, 2016). There are a variety of factors that typically form the structure for studying as well as understanding the profession of nursing as a science of caring. These factors include the human-altruistic system of principles such as empathy, kindness as well as concern and love for patients (American, 2010). All these principles are important in the process of instilling hope and faith for the people who are cared for. This paper will study different nursing roles investigating closely my specialty in terms of educational attainment as well as population and environmental expectations in my future career.

Comparing and contrasting various nursing roles

  1. Nurse informaticist

The field of informatics has existed in the nursing profession for almost four years, which normally concentrates on all resources that are viable in the nursing profession. There are many aspects that are involved in this field of informatics such as ethics, data recovery, decision support systems, information systems, computer science, imaging informatics, human-computer interaction, security, intelligent systems, and electronic patient records, telenursing, and e-learning (Hamric et al, 2014).  All these factors are used in this field of informatics since it specifically deals with the application of information technology in the nursing duties. This is critical data and information that is then used in management and practice as well as in nursing education.

Therefore, it is important to note that the field of informatics typically performs the role of integrating computer science, information science to the overall nursing science (Hamric et al, 2014). This is because it helps support nursing knowledge and practice management. This is seen to be critical because this field is applied to the systems of data communication management, nursing practice as well as in research and education. Essentially, the core competencies of an informatics in the nursing profession involve adequate knowledge as well as both computer and information skills.  Competencies in major selected computer skills contain retrieving patient demographic data and computerized searches, documentation of patient care, knowledge of telecommunication devices, the use of computer technology and networks and the use of information technology in the process of providing quality patient care (Hamric et al, 2014).

As far as knowledge skills are required for achieving competencies in an informatics nurse are concerned, one is required to have basic knowledge of the existing system. In this case, one is required to be able to recognize and use critical nursing data in the process of improving nursing care (Baird & Bethel, 2010). The field of informatics recognizes the fact that technological devices such as computers are only capable of facilitating nursing care. In this regard, there exist many human functions in nursing care that cannot be performed by computers, the identification of clinician’s values, formulation and implementation of ethical computing decisions as well as recognizing the selection, design, implementation and monitoring of various systems involved in health care (Hamric et al, 2014). Moreover, the field of informatics in nursing is equipped with the knowledge of the impacts of computerized information management systems as well as the functions of manual systems. This is an important knowledge that is used in the application of different nursing roles in the determination of different levels of reliability and limitations in computerized patient systems that is used in monitoring processes.

Moreover, nursing informatics play the roles of interpreting information flow in any given organization or institution (Ralph & Taylor, 2013). They are able to prepare all processes of information flow in charts particularly in the development of standards, clinical systems, and database structure. This information is important in any health facility because it helps facilitate education, clinical care and also in research or administration. In addition, they are tasked with developing analysis and innovative techniques that are applicable in scientific inquiries. The process of developing effective methods of organizing research design with the intention of investigating the impacts of technology in the field of nursing is also a role that is played by informatics nurses (Committee, 2011). Basically, these nurses are an important resource in the nursing profession as they deal with the process of data interpretation as well as integrating that data with various systems in an organization. Their skills, knowledge, and competencies are normally investigated by educators, clinicians and administrators in all nursing groups.

  1. Nurse educators

Nurse educators are usually graduates in the nursing profession who perform the roles of offering and teaching nursing courses that impact knowledge and skills at different levels of education. These different levels include graduate levels, advanced levels such as masters degrees as well as PhDs (American, 2010). For this reason, they are tasked with performing important tasks in the healthcare delivery systems. For instance, the Master’s programs are normally designed to adequately prepare graduates to achieve the career goals of becoming future nurse educators. This means that nurses who have successfully managed to attain Master’s degrees are able to teach their families, patients, communities or direct caregivers. Therefore, as educators, these nurses are expected to be competent in the processes of teaching or learning applications (Doenges et al, 2014). This process usually utilizes the principles of nursing in the profession of nursing and patient care.

Nurse educators are also known to be radical transformers in various levels of nursing such as clinical practice, graduate levels as well as experience and content in all areas that are involved in the nursing practice (American, 2010). They are tasked with developing viable programs which prepare individuals in the process of becoming future nurse educators. This is normally achieved through high levels of core competencies in preparing curriculum designs and course work that are important tools in the process of developing various teaching methodologies, theories or methods that are learner centered and assessment in educational needs (Baird & Stewart, 2010). However, it is important to note that there is a difference between masters’ prepared educators and the baccalaureate nurse as far as their respective in-depth understanding of the various nursing practices and disciplines are concerned. This is in addition to their pedagogical skills that they both have in the health care practice.

Moreover, in order to effectively impact nursing or health care knowledge to students, caregivers or patients these nurses are expected to be effective communicators (Baird & Stewart, 2010). There is important information that is frequently taught by these nurses which include; disease prevention, health promotion or disease management. As is the norm, the nurse educators typically rely on baccalaureate knowledge that has a graduate content level as far as different areas such as physiology, health assessment and pharmacology are concerned. The main aim of this strategy is to strengthen the scientific background knowledge of the graduates in the process of facilitating their basic understanding of health and nurse related information. In addition, these graduates also require further content in specific health care areas in the nursing profession or on their preferred opportunities available in the healthcare environment  (American, 2010). In this case, a nurse educator plays the role of integrating any new knowledge as well as skills to fit perfectly into the nursing practice. Consequently, there is further advice given to those students in the master’s program that intend to study higher degrees and baccalaureate programs by the nurse educators.

  1. Nurse administrators

An administrative nurse plays a critical role in any health care institution as far as administrative duties are concerned. They are tasked with making critical decisions regarding the skills and productivity of the nursing staff using the least forms of costs on physical and human resources (Doenges et al, 2014). As expected, nursing costs should yield a measurable cost outcome that is normally written and reported in figures and facts. All these activities performed by an administrative nurse are all aimed at achieving quality patient care by reducing the length of their stay in any health care institution. According to administrative nurses, the value of patient care is achieved when such the institution incurs less financial costs in the process of meeting all technical and physical needs of patients (Doenges et al, 2014). Therefore, this means that they are tasked to develop a deeper understanding regarding all economic dimensions in the process of caring for the patients and ensure that there is uninterrupted humanistic care in any health care institution.

Furthermore, these administrative nurses usually possess a clear urgency in the process of delivering patient care that is of high quality through an effective and efficient method of resource utilization. This is only achieved when these nurses are fully equipped with all essential knowledge in the health care through humanistic and business perspective in the process of making important decisions (American, 2010). These decisions are normally aimed at offering important support in all nursing activities in an organization. In addition, there is a clear emphasis for administrative nurses to try to understand the impacts of economic decisions as far as overall patient care is concerned. This is because concentrating hard on economic decisions at the expense of patient care has a negative consequence that has the potential of having negative consequences in any organization (Baird & Stewart, 2010).

Therefore, administrative nurses are careful in the decision-making processes particularly those that require urgency of meeting short-term goals such as costs saving, increasing or decreasing the number of personnel and resource appraisals (Doenges et al, 2014). In essence, they are too careful in ensuring that their decisions ultimately lead to the attainment of competitive edge through the provision of quality and efficient health care services. Furthermore, administrative nurses also play the role of motivating their personnel in their respective area of practice with the aim of improving patient care (Hamric et al, 2014). This is because the personnel has the potential of undermining the organizational competitive edge through a poor delivery of services. This is an important strategy that helps the organization attract more consumers thereby cutting the costs involved in marketing processes.

Additionally, when making important decisions that involve physical and personnel resource allocations, administrative nurses also play the role of researchers. This important responsibility aids the process of decision-making and averts the possibility of errors through assumptions. In this regard, they normally conduct case studies in their respective organizations particularly in the working activities of their personnel by measuring important variables. For instance, when gauging on resource utilization, administrative nurses normally measure such variables such as time spent on patients, nursing workload, the types of skills and knowledge utilized as well as all other important direct care activities (Doenges et al, 2014). Additionally, this personnel’s level of productivity can be measured by use of nurse and patient’s perceptions towards the process of caring.

Selected Advanced Practice under family (NP) Role

The specialty that I have been chosen to pursue in the nursing profession is a Nursing Practice under family (NP). This nursing profession normally defines and regulated by the Nurse Practice Act, which was implemented in July 2004 (Dennert & Stewart, 2016). According to this act, all NP nurses are expected to hold on to their respective licenses or certificates, which allow them to practice in any state of the United States where their patients are. However, it is important to note that each state normally contains its specific scope of practice and that they are responsible for the issuance of license or certificate with unique specifications (Dennert & Stewart, 2016). Additionally, the NSO allowed about fourteen states to allow the NP nurses to practice independently with other thirteen states requiring collaborative agreements that outline all the conditions of practicing health care. This means that such state typically utilizes supervisory language in the act therein.

Just as other professions, the evolution, and expansion of the scope of NP education is inevitable. For instance, an RN who performs functions at the entry is able to perform patient care activities as well as many other procedures that are deemed to be specialized (Committee, 2011). This means that he or she is allowed to carry out medical functions that were a reserve to the physicians only. Moreover, as am RN role is seen to have evolved to a more specialized practice, the nursing practice also expands as far as the advanced nursing practices are concerned. This eventually leads to greater access towards preventive and primary care. Consequently, there is a chance of greater opportunities that open up for the advancement of the nursing profession in both specialized and acute care (American., 2010).

The American Association of Colleges and Nursing Organization have of the recent past demonstrated its support to the programs involved in clinical doctorate courses. In this respect, they declared that such programs are the entry levels to all standardized NP education. This is an expanded model of knowledge that is required to be part of possible internship program as far as the educational framework is concerned. One is further able to increase the scope by adding more specialty certificates as well as any other postmaster’s training programs. Moreover, there are other developments in regard such as the existing potential in the states’ practices and licensure as well as recognitions of an NP nurse’s roles and training (American, 2010). However, while it is ambitious to further increase skills and expertise as an NP, it is important to keep basic principles in regard to ethics and safety in health care constant.

It is worth to note that there are various specialties under the NP programs that include adult, family, and gerontology. This means that a specific program only prepares a graduate or a nurse to perform the health functions that is contained in the program (American, 2010). For instance, an acute care program under the NP only prepares a student or a graduate to lay focus specifically on episodic, acute or critical conditions, which are primarily handled in settings that are hospital based. However, such a program fails to have adequate didactic and clinical content that can support the practitioner to perform any other broader roles such as diagnosis that is primary care, treatment and the eventual follow up medical procedures (Demmert & Stewart, 2016). All these require one to have core competencies that enable an individual to perform the functions of a primary caregiver. Moreover, the professional license normally indicates that a health practitioner has been validated to perform certain health procedures.

In addition, the environment of a working NP is usually not a congruent as with the acute care that is secondary or with a training focus on a tertiary care, Essentially, it means that a lack of any form of congruence between the level of expertise and practice environment is more likely to result in a safety level of the patients that is significantly decreased (Dennert & Stewart, 2016). This incompatibility also results to a decreased level of risk liability of the caregiver who is the NP.

Leadership Attributes of the Advanced Practice Role

In the process of offering effective leadership in the nursing profession, there is a need of developing transformational strategies that will enable the health sector to meet the rising demand for quality, safety, and affordable care (Dennert & Stewart, 2016). This will require a fundamental level of thinking as far as my personal roles in the health care sector. Moreover, there is a great need for measuring the effectiveness of various health acts that were implemented many years ago to gauge their level of effectiveness. This is because the health sector and the profession of nursing are constantly evolving and expanding owing to technological advancements (American, 2010). In addition, there has been an introduction of healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid whereby there is an exclusion of participation by nurses. Both of these programs are critical towards the process of transforming the healthcare system in the United States which calls for the full participation of nurses who are key stakeholders.

Therefore as a leader in the nursing profession, I will be motivated to play critical roles of integrating all nurses from various settings towards the realization of common goals such as quality, safe and affordable healthcare (Committee, 2011). This is achieved by addressing existing challenges faced by nurses from all levels such as legal barriers that normally prohibit various nurses from being able to fully practice their professional roles as per their level of education and training. In essence, there is a great need of lifting certain barriers such as those that demoralize nurses in order to achieve the level of professionalism that will allow nurses assume their full responsibility at any given time (Committee, 2011). If this is achieved, the health care system will provide nurses with an environment that will allow innovations towards the realization of nursing practices that are patient oriented and consequently improve patient care in the long run.



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Dennert N. & Stewart G. J. (2016). Family Practitioner Certification Review. Burlingham. Jones & Barlett Publication.

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Ralph S. & Taylor M. C. (2013). Sparks and Tailor’s Nursing Diagnosis Pocket Guide. Philadelphia. Wolters Kluwer Health. Philadelphia. Wolters Kluwer Health Publi

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