I’m working on a nursing discussion question and need a sample draft to help me learn.
The healthcare issue that I selected was the needs for primary care clinicians in the workforce, specifically the need for nurse practitioners. More policies need to be changed or creating nationwide that can allow nurse practitioners to practice to the full scope of their practice. A lot of nurse practitioners primarily work in the acute care setting because they have a little more freedom because they are practicing directly with a doctor. Working in the primary care setting, nurse practitioners in some states still must practice under a doctor. Changing the policies and allowing nurse practitioners to practice with full scope of practice could lead to an increase in the number of nurses that want to make the transition to the field but were held back by the restrictions that are placed on them that vary state by state. These changes in policy could help fill the gap in the shortage of primary care clinicians, that is predicted to be short between 14,000 and 35,000 by 2025 (Regis, 2017). The shortage of primary care clinicians and nurse practitioners is a concern because it can lead to patients not receiving the health care that they need, which can lead to missed health issues, worsening patient conditions, more hospitalizations, or even death.
One of the competing issues regarding the workforce complications that can come for the increasing demand for nurse practitioners is that it will and is currently leading to a shortage of nurses. According to current research and trends, the use of full-time nurse practitioners has doubled in the last few years, specifically a 109% increase (Jakucs, 2020). The fear with the transition to more nurse practitioners in the field, whether that be in the clinic setting or the acute care setting is the decrease in nurses in the workforce. This is good news and bad news for policy makers in the healthcare field. It is good news because the increase in nurse practitioners will meet the large demand, but it is bad news because those nurse practitioners were previously nurses. Current projections predict that there could be a shortage of 80,000 nurses in the next few years, with the nurse practitioners that transitioned from nursing causing a majority of the loss (Jakucs, 2020).
Chaning the policies for nurse practitioners regarding their scope of practice will help fill the gap in the shortage of nurse practitioners, because more nurses who were on the fence about pursuing that degree could officially make the change. Like I mentioned, one major competing needs that policy makers and healthcare leaders would be the shortage of nurses that it would lead to. This concern can be addressed by assuring them that the need for nurses will be met in a few ways. If COVID taught us anything, one thing that we learned for sure is that nurses always step up. Organizations can use things like travel nurses to help meet the need of nurses temporarily until new graduates or replacements are hired (Fierce Healthcare, 2019). Another solution that organizations can use is by providing their nurses with great education opportunities that will help them expand their knowledge, give them more opportunities for growth, and help them specialize in a specific are of interest (Fierce Healthcare, 2019). By providing nurses with more opportunities for growth, more nurses will stay within the field and will help prevent a worsening shortage in the United States.
Overall, the shortage of primary care clinicians is a big concern, specifically in the next 5-10 years. Policies can be made and changed that can help more nurse practitioners go into the primary care setting, but a major concern is that it will lead to a shortage of nurses. There are many ways that the shortage can be addressed, including the use of travel nurses, and providing nurses with continual education opportunities to stay within the hospital and at the bedside (Fierce Healthcare, 2019).
Fierce Healthcare. (2019, August 29). Nursing Shortage Solutions: Where Do We Go from Here? FierceHealthcare. https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/sponsored/nursing….
Jakucs, C. (2020, April 20). Will the surge of NPs lead to a shortage of RNs? Nurse.com MediaKit. https://mediakit.nurse.com/surge-of-nps-lead-short….
Regis. (2017). Nurse Practitioners and the Primary Care Shortage. https://onlinenursing.regiscollege.edu/resources/m….