Advanced Nurse Practitioners are critical in adding value to the quality of patient care in healthcare institutions. According to Torrens et al. (2020), Advanced Nurse Practitioner carries out diverse roles and responsibilities as they have qualifications beyond their master’s degree and experience. The scope of an Advanced Nurse Practitioner’s (ANP) duties varies across states depending on the health policies and practices assigned to the role in those specific states. An ANP is expected to possess mastery in four major healthcare categories: leadership and management, research, education, and clinical practice. The work of ANPs also includes collaboration in providing primary care to enhance patient outcomes.
Advanced Practice Nursing was established as part of the solution to the problems experienced in healthcare, such as widespread chronic illnesses and a shortage of healthcare professionals compatible with the desired quality healthcare practices. ANPs help in increasing healthcare coverage through improved healthcare interventions and cost reduction of healthcare services (Cooper et al., 2019). Thus, an ANP should have higher educational qualifications for competency and efficiency in research, management, and healthcare practice. Moreover, the ANP is expected to make independent critical decisions about patient care interventions and carry out evaluations of patient cases. The higher level of education and the experience required for this position mandates the nurse practitioner to analyze and establish relevant care plans for managing diverse health conditions, including drug prescriptions.
The ANP is responsible for the provision of quality primary care as they are the first contact of reference for people seeking healthcare services. The ANP can be involved in both clinical activities like creating disease intervention plans for patients of all ages and nonclinical duties like managing healthcare services and offering health education to improve the quality of care and enhance patient outcomes. In the USA, the ANP must be involved in programs to enhance healthcare service provision, such as establishing evidence-based practices in clinical procedures and guidelines to facilitate the smooth operation of healthcare facilities. Advanced Nurse Practitioners are often deployed to work with vulnerable populations and places with limited healthcare professionals like remote areas, due to the extensiveness of their roles.
The International Council of Nursing (ICN) requires ANPs to acquire extensive knowledge and be clinically competent as their responsibility involves making complex decisions about the health care plans of patients (Miranda et al., 2018). The ANPS must meet patient needs and that of the patient’s families, communities, and populations in which they work. They must utilize scientific evidence from current evidence-based practices to establish theoretical frameworks for their professional nursing practice. This responsibility is enabled by translational research enabling them to critically assess health policies and systems to determine their suitability for enhancing patient outcomes. Furthermore, ANPs are expected to possess leadership qualities such as increased autonomy in making critical judgments and implementing relevant clinical interventions to maximize the patient’s health outcomes (Heinen et al., 2019). They are also responsible for coordinating general healthcare activities in hospitals by effectively collaborating with the microsystems in the healthcare institution.
In conclusion, Advanced Nurse Practitioners play critical roles in providing healthcare services to individuals, families, communities, and vulnerable populations. These roles include the creation of appropriate care plans as per the patient’s needs, dispensing health education to select communities of populations, conducting scientific research to facilitate evidence-based nursing, and establishing theoretical frameworks to guide their professional practice. The ANPs are responsible for making independent critical decisions on patients’ healthcare plans and acting as the reference point for people seeking healthcare services.
Cooper, M. A., McDowell, J., Raeside, L., & ANP–CNS Group. (2019). The similarities and differences between advanced nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists. British Journal of Nursing, 28(20), 1308-1314.
Heinen, M., van Oostveen, C., Peters, J., Vermeulen, H., & Huis, A. (2019). An integrative review of leadership competencies and attributes in advanced nursing practice. Journal of advanced nursing, 75(11), 2378-2392.
Miranda Neto, M. V. D., Rewa, T., Leonello, V. M., & Oliveira, M. A. D. C. (2018). Advanced practice nursing: a possibility for Primary Health Care?. Revista Brasileira de Enfermagem, 71, 716-721.
Torrens, C., Campbell, P., Hoskins, G., Strachan, H., Wells, M., Cunningham, M., … & Maxwell, M. (2020). Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of the advanced nurse practitioner role in primary care settings: a scoping review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 104, 103443.
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