Evolution Of The Family Nurse Practitioner Role In Health Care Research Paper

Length: 3 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Healthcare Type: Research Paper Paper: #58033322 Related Topics: Health Screening, Evolution, Family Assessment, Family Counseling
Excerpt from Research Paper :

¶ … Nurse Practitioner has evolved throughout the decades. It is one that continues to change as health care further develops into a continuum of patient care and continuous educational access. The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) has become synonymous with that of a primary care physician. In all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, and around the globe, FNPs are being used to fill the growing gap that medical doctors are leaving behind. FNPs are able to assess, diagnose, and treat acute and chronic illnesses, conduct routine patient check-ups and annual physical examinations, provide counseling, prescribe and order medications and labs, and manage a patient's overall care (AANP, 2015). Numerous states allow FNPs to practice autonomously, while others require supervision or collaboration with a medical physician in order to legally practice for a specific amount of time.

There are clinical and non-clinical ways in which the Family Nurse Practitioner role comes into play. The traditional, or more well-known role is the clinical one. Just as aforementioned, the clinical nurse practitioner has personal hands-on experience with patients. They treat and assess patients and act as the primary care provider, much as a medical physician does. A nurse practitioner falls into a non-clinical category when they go into fields where direct patient care isn't necessarily their primary job. This includes the roles of consulting for pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, or medical and manufacturing equipment. They provide these companies with information that has the patients' best interest in mind, from a nursing and medical perspective. Managerial and staffing services provided by Nurse Practitioners can also fall into a non-clinical role, as there is no direct contact with patients. Although they do in turn affect patient care, it is in a more indirect


According to the National Patient Safety Goals (NSPG) established by the Joint Commission, both of these varying roles provide for patient safety. Clinical NPs have to follow and abide by rules that assure the safety and well-being of their patients (jointcommision.org, 2015). They are to provide ethical care in a fashion that promotes health and the maintenance of it in a way where minimal harm is done. Non-clinical NPs promote the safety of patients by consulting and advocating for products and services that will enhance the well-being of individuals. Although separate in the roles in which they contribute to nursing and healthcare as a whole, they are very important aspects.

According to Naylor and Kurtzman (2010) the role of the nurse practitioner is reinventing primary care. As the number of physicians entering primary care medicine residency has been declining in recent time, the number of nurse practitioners has been increasing, creating a new realm and perspective on primary health care. As the article states, "Between 1995 and 2006, primary care residency programs declined by 3%, while primary care training programs for nurse practitioners grew 61%" (Naylor and Kurtzman, 2010). The research conducted by these two authors aimed at providing a better understanding of the overall role that the Family Nurse Practitioner plays in health care as medical doctors specializing in this field has been declining, while NPs have been on the increase. Two main topics were analyzed. The first one was patient satisfaction and quality care provided by the NP. In numerous studies, it was concluded that NPs provided equal or better care than MDs. They had better results in "follow-ups, consultation time… and the provision of screening, assessment, and counseling" (Naylor and Kurtzman, 2010). Secondly, economically, NPs were doing much better than their MD counterparts. Because of reimbursement rates by the government and insurance companies, the same health care can be provided by NPs for a fraction of the cost. For the period of 2010-2020 it has been projected that there can be "cumlutaive statewide savings of $4.2-$8.4 billion" (Naylor and Kurtzman, 2010). However the downside of the NP role is in its novelty. Although NPs have been around for decades, it is recently that their importance and contribution has grown and state laws…

Sources Used in Documents:


Golden, A., & Blackwelder, R. (2013). Should Nurse Practitioners Be Able to Treat Patients Without Physician Oversight? The Wall Street Journal <http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324715704578480911396098592>

Naylor, M., & Kurtzman, E. (2010). The Role Of Nurse Practitioners In Reinventing Primary Care. Health Affairs, 29(5), 893-899.

Savrin, C. (2009). Growth And Development Of The Nurse Practitioner Role Around The Globe. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 23(5), 310-314.

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