Providing efficient and readily available healthcare is an inevitable reality for every country around the globe. A lot goes into an entity that appearsas an efficient health care system. One of the stars in the constellation that makes up the health care system is Nurse Practitioners.
Nurse practitioners are the initial point of contact like frontline forces, catering to the needs of a variety of patients with a range of illnesses. Their expertise and training play an essential role in bestowing them with such capabilities. They also make up for the single largest group of health care providers in the United States. The past few decades have registered a steady rise in the number of registered nurses reaching a colossal number of 2.9 million Registered Nurses (RN) in the USA. Another entity going parallel to RNs is the number of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs).
APRNs are highly trained individuals with certifications from nursing organizations. To hold the title of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, a Master’s Degree is a threshold requirement.
With an aging population worldwide and the world dealing with sudden mishaps like COVID-19, their demand in the health care sector is increasing exponentially.
As they say,’Every problem is an opportunity in disguise’; a rise in APRNs demand has made way for online learning opportunities. You will see new options like online masters of nursing offering an uninterrupted source of study.
The idea of nurse practitioners has revolutionized the notion of timely service provision to people and areas deprived of health care facilities. They have contributed to bringing out various benefits for the health care system worldwide. Some of them holding prominence are worth sharing here.
1. Lowering the Burden on the Physicians
One of the significant impacts on the health care system is lowering the patient-doctor ratio. Observations manifestthat as the initial point of contact, the patients demonstrate the same morality and satisfaction as they would do towards a physician. Thus, it can certainly reduce the burden on physiciansby evenly distributing the ratio.
2, Voicing the Concerns of Patients and Health Care Policy Formulation
Nurse practitioners are an inevitable element of a health care system, but so are the patients. Therefore, there should be a way to put their concerns on the table as well. The nurse practitioners with relevant certifications can join organizations who lobby on behalf of patients.
Their continuous efforts coupled with intense lobbying can bring about important legislation. Ultimately, nursing organizations can join health policy committees and formulate priorities for health policies.
3. Making Up for the Need of More Physicians in Primary Care
The population of the world is increasing, and the same goes for the United States. Nevertheless, the number of people joining primary care is not growing at the required pace. Hence, there is a continuous shortage of Primary care physicians.
The NPs, with their holistic understanding of patient welfareand clinical proficiency,can conveniently fill that void. To fulfill the training needs of these NPs and particularly correspond to the requirements of Primary health care, relevant training program are gaining enhanced attention. These courses have garnered so much spot that in some places, enrollment has become an ordeal.
4. Improve the Health Care System by Dispensing Their Full Potential
There can never be a comparison between trained and untrained NPs. The formeris fully capable of their full potential with services that go beyond direct patient care. With proper training, NPs can improve the health care system by taking part in disease control, awareness campaigns, and health promotion.
Often, illnesses occur due to carelessness and inappropriate decisions. Thus, such efforts of NPscan lower the burden on the health care system by educating patients about making the appropriate decisions.
5. Improvement in the Quality of Care
Surprisingly, a country boasting as a Super Power for years lags behind many others in the quality of health care provided to its citizens. To make the matter worse is the mounting health care cost that certainly does not match the quality of care. Nurse practitioners, with their empathy, care, and adequate service provision,can reverse the tides.
As remarked by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), NPs can be empathetic, patient-centered, and effective in their service delivery.
6. Lowering the Cost of Health Care
As novel diseases are hovering this earth, a mounting health care cost is making matters worse. An estimation by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services predicts that in the US, health care cost is on a trajectory to double from 2018 to 2027, touching an apex of 6 trillion. In 2018, an average US citizen spent a mounting sum of $11,172 on health care.
However, in this dire situation which is insistent on breaking the wallet, NPs seem to be an immediate, cost-effective solution. A study shows that NPs lowered the per visit health care cost by 33%. It is a ray of hope for the future, with an increased aging population making matters worse.
A few decades back, nobody had thought that Nurse Practitioners had the potential to revolutionize the health care system. Due to their training’s versatile nature, their areas of expertise fall into both direct and indirect patient care.
To become advanced nurses, they require a minimum of a Master’s degree, which is pretty fair as they have to deal with patient’s health. With the prospect for an online master’s degree, an opportunity has knocked on their door.
Meanwhile, the statistics also show a bright future for them concerning employment opportunities. Being a source of help for uplifting the health care system through various means was never easier than today. Thus, it is time to bring them into the mainstream and use their full potential to improve the health care system.