dcsimg
Home » Career Development

Nurse Practitioner Perspectives on the Future of Health Care

Submitted by Admin on March 22, 2010, 9:03 am
nurse practitioner

It's a historic moment for health care in America. Never before have so many uninsured patients been in need of health care, and never before have health care providers been in such great demand. Nurse Practitioner opinions run the gamut: some fear things will only get worse, while others see this as the hour before the dawn. The one thing they all agree on is that change is on the horizon.

"If this health care reform does come though, there's all of a sudden going to be this influx of people that are going to need primary care," Family Nurse Practitioner Peggy O'Donnell, ANP, BC, MS, RN, says. "There are just not enough primary care doctors out there, so it's a perfect place for Nurse Practitioners to find a home, because we're good at primary care. I think we're fitting in nicely with the reform coming down the pipe."

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Susan Ouellette, CRNP, CSP, APRN-PMH, (www.sueouellettespeaks.com) expresses some misgivings about the pace of the changes. "You can't just ram a program in; you have to fix it incrementally," she says. "This is being shoved through in a year, and it's such a complex problem, you don't have all the answers."

Will we have enough providers to handle the number of newly insured patients? Ouellette worries that we won't. On top of that, she says, existing providers are already working to capacity. "We're going to have to work harder to make the same money....What's going to happen is practices are going to stop taking Medicare, and these people are not going to be able to get the care that they need. I think it's going to be a disaster."

Jan Towers, PhD, NP-C , CRNP, FAANP, FAAN, has a sunnier outlook on the numbers. "We don't have any shortage of students, so if we have the capacity to prepare them we're certainly going to be able to," says Dr. Towers, who is the Director of Health Policy for the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (www.aanp.org). "If we actually get the full complement of new patients, it will stretch everything, but we're ready to step in, and one of the things we're trying to do is making [the healthcare system] function so that people can have access to it."

Dr. Towers recently attended President Obama's health care reform bill meeting, to which she was invited as an expert to discuss thoughts on how the use of nurse practitioners will increase if the bill is passed. She says that the health care reform bill should make it possible for nurse practitioners to function more effectively. In the past, nurse practitioners have sometimes been blocked from working to their full potential by the language of the law. For example, coverage policies and reimbursement packages might specifically refer to physicians rather than providers.

In the health care reform bill, however, "There's a lot of language that makes it clear that nurse practitioners are primary care providers," Towers explains. "There's language that authorizes nurse practitioner practices to be medical homes, we have money for nurse-managed centers and school based clinics which are all run by nurse practitioners, there's a lot of provider-neutral language and non-discrimination language, which opens the door for us a little bit better in terms of being limited by the physician word being thrown around all over the place. So we're hoping that this is going to be the age of enlightenment."

What form might this "age of enlightenment" take? The focus in the future will be on preventive care and early access, say nurse practitioners. In theory, governments, healthcare centers and patients will all save money with the new trend.

"Early access saves so many healthcare dollars," points out O'Donnell. "Instead of people using the emergency rooms for their healthcare, which is extraordinarily expensive for all of us, come see a nurse practitioner! We're known for being complete and thorough, but we're good at managing healthcare dollars. The nurse practitioners who are based in the hospitals usually have very good rates of getting people through the system quickly, getting them discharged safely, fewer revolving doors with the hospitals."

However, there may be some initial push-back from insurance companies, who make a higher profit from expensive emergency care. "For me this dates back to the 1980s," reflects Ouellette. "Diabetics started to test their blood with blood sugar monitors, and it was a new thing, because we had always used urine testing. I was writing letter after letter after letter to insurance companies, because they didn't want to pay the $200 for the meter, but they paid fully for an ICU stay when a patient got really sick."

With a model of preventive care, personal accountability will play a strong role. For today's society, in which Americans don't have a habit of seeking preventative care, a long-term transformation may require a phase of public education. "For years, this nation has not put any stipulations on people," Ouellette says. "I think you're going to have to start making people be accountable."

Matching School Ads
Grand Canyon University
Online

There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!

Visit GCU.edu

Programs: Campus Locations:
  • Phoenix
  • Phoenix
Hide Locations [-]
Lamar University
Online

A nationally recognized leader in online education, Lamar University online tailors the on-campus degree program to a flexible, affordable format for busy professionals.

Programs:
Brightwood College
Campus

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

Programs: Campus Locations:
  • Salida
  • Salida
Hide Locations [-]
Unitek College
Campus

Unitek College™ is a privately held vocational school dedicated to helping you gain the skills needed to advance your career or begin a brand new career. 

Programs: Campus Locations:
  • Fremont
  • Fremont
Hide Locations [-]
Platt College
Campus

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

Programs: Campus Locations:
  • Alhambra
  • Alhambra
Hide Locations [-]
Northcentral University
Online

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

Programs: Campus Locations:
  • San Diego
  • San Diego
Hide Locations [-]
South University, Online Programs
Online

As a student at South University, Online Programs, you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

Visit www.southuniversity.edu

Programs: Campus Locations:
  • Savannah
  • Savannah
Hide Locations [-]
Ohio Christian University
Online

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

Programs: Campus Locations:
  • Circleville
  • Circleville
Hide Locations [-]
Wilkes University
Online

Wilkes University’s School of Nursing offers CCNE-accredited online degrees and certificate programs ideal for working health care professionals, instructed by experienced, respected faculty dedicated to mentoring and personalized support for every student.

Programs: Campus Locations:
  • Wilkes Barre
  • Wilkes Barre
Hide Locations [-]
University of Rhode Island
Online

About the University of Rhode Island

 

The University of Rhode Island has grown from an agricultural school and agricultural experiment station to the community-committed university it is today—a place where ideas unleash potential and diversity incubates creativity.

Programs: Campus Locations:
  • Kingston
  • Kingston
Hide Locations [-]
Matching School Ads


4 Comments »

  • gravatar_G Mary Pizzingrillo says:

    As a Nurse Practitioner of 13 years, my primary focus has been on geriatrics and how NP's are instrumental in improving their overall care and outcomes. The current healthcare system is not equipped to care for this evergrowing population and these patients are being discharged faster and more acutely ill. The focus of care needs to be in the home and not just at the bedside in a hospital setting. A great majority of readmissions can be avoided if an advanced level nurse makes a home visit providing asdditional support after discherge to properly review medications as well as the environement for safety needs that may never be picked up in the acute stay of the hospital. We have a skill set like no other combining our nursing years with strong medical knowledge and we can truly be an effective force in preventing and decreasing unnecessary hospitalizations and over utilization of resources. Sincerely Mary Pizzingrillo ANP-BC

  • gravatar_Gadmin says:
    Well said Mary! I couldn't agree with you more wholeheartedly. Do you think the new health care bill will provide for more & better funding for home care services that nurses provide? Personally, I think we need to increase lobbying efforts & awareness of the unique and cost effective services NP's provide in order to overcome the efforts of the AMA, wouldn't you agree? Sara
  • gravatar_G Exploring New Horizons In Nursing Practice | RN Degrees Online Nursing Education Digest says:

    [...] Legal Nurse Consulting: An Exciting Career Move Legal Nurse Consultants Help Make the Case Why Become a Nurse Practitioner? High Demand Nursing Specialties That Require An MSN Degree What’s the Difference Between a Doctor and a Nurse Practitioner? Dr Jan Towers on Nurse Practitioning: “This is Not Traditional Nursing” Nurse Practitioner Perspectives on the Future of Health Care [...]

  • gravatar_G How Advanced Education Helps Nurses Educate, Create and Transform | RN Degrees Online Nursing Education Digest says:

    [...] a Nurse Practitioner? Dr Jan Towers on Nurse Practitioning: “This is Not Traditional Nursing” Nurse Practitioner Perspectives on the Future of Health Care Nurse Practitioner Career Opportunities [...]

  • gravatar_G Dr Jan Towers on Nurse Practitioning: "This is Not Traditional Nursing" | RN Degrees Online Nursing Education Digest says:

    [...] MSN Degree Why Become a Nurse Practitioner? Family Practice Docs Upset That Some Nurses Earn More Nurse Practitioner Perspectives on the Future of Health Care Nurse Practitioner Career Opportunities [...]


About Us  |  FAQS  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy |  Sitemap |  Terms of Service
© 2006 - 2017 QuinStreet, Inc.