When I began the course the Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse, I was unsure of the information that the course would entail. I was delighted to find that the teachings were the basics I would need to understand my role as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). I was very naive to think I was knowledgeable about what my role in practice would be, when I was not. Over the last five weeks I was introduced to the history of Nurse Practitioners (NP), the roles and scope or practice for advanced practice nurses working in clinical and non-clinical settings, understanding of collaboration and communication, assess my personal philosophy that will carry into advanced practice, attributes of the FNP practice arena, and to identify when collaboration, communication, and leadership skills will be used in advanced practice. The competencies that I have achieved while participating in this course are listed below.
1. Explore the historical evolution of the advanced practice nurse.
Although the history of NPs dates to 1860 for the Nurse Anesthetist, I was surprised to learn that NPs did not start having formal education and specialty training requirements until years later. As a child I was very lucky to have had great health care, however I had never received care or had exposure to an NP until 1993 when I was in the Navy. At that time the NP I was exposed to was practicing primary care. Prior to that, I had no inclination that NPs even existed.
2. Differentiate the roles and scope of practice for nurses working in advanced clinical,
education, administration, informatics, research, and health policy arenas. As I have learned from the teachings of this course there is a difference between Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) and Advanced Nursing Practice (ANP). APN is a clinical role that has direct contact with patients. The APN is a nurse who holds a masters degree and has expertise in areas such as diagnosis and assessment, planning and implementation, and evaluation of healthcare and record-keeping (Nurse Journal, n.d., para. 4). Advanced Practice Nursing refers to both clinical and non-clinical providers such as Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Educators, Nursing Administration, Nursing Informaticists, and Nursing Researchers.
3. Analyze attributes of the practice arena such as access and availability, degree of
consumer choice, competition, and financing that impact advanced practice nurses and their ability to effectively collaborate with other health professionals.
The FNP in practice provides comparable, quality, and accessible health care at a reduced cost to that of a physician (Stanik-Hutt et al., 2013). NPs are paid at about 80-85% of the cost of a physician (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2013). FNPs that practice in states that have limited practice laws FNPs must collaborate with physicians regarding patient care, medication prescribing, chart reviews, and ordering of medical devices or therapy etc. FNPs must also collaborate with physician and colleagues when patients have health care needs that the FNP is lacking experience in. An effective health system integrates the diverse knowledge and skills of multiple types of providers who communicate and collaborate with patients and each other and are accountable to deliver care to the patient and society (Stanik-Hutt et al., 2013, p. 498).
4. Integrate evidence from research and theory into discussion of practice competencies,
health promotion, and disease prevention strategies, quality improvement, and safety standards.
Based on Hamrics model the six core competencies are Collaboration, Leadership, Evidence-based practice, Consultation, Guidance and coaching, and Ethical decision-making skills (Hamric et al., 2014, p.44). These are guidelines used in daily practice to provide comprehensive care to a patient. FNPs practice as holistic providers diagnosing health conditions, while promoting health and disease prevention and providing education to patients and families.
5. Identify collaborative, organizational, communication and leadership skills in working
with other professionals in healthcare facilities and/or academic institutions.
The understanding I have of this concept is a team working together, who trust each other and share information to achieve a common goal. When a member of the group exhibits leadership skills they essentially become a role model for the entire team. When making decisions that will affect the team the leader would ask for input from each team member to come to a consensus.
6. Synthesize knowledge from values theory, ethics, and legal/regulatory statutes in the
development of a personal philosophy for a career as an advanced practice nurse.
My personal philosophy as an FNP will be to provide quality, effective, and compassionate care to every individual patient. To be and advocate for my patients, their families and their health and wellness. Also, to collaborate with the entire health care team to provide the best care possible.