Nurse practitioners are becoming even more important to our health care system now that the changes introduced by the Affordable Care Act are in full swing. Today there are more nurses on the job than any other type of health care professional. Family nurse practitioners, pediatric primary care nurses and adult-gerontology nurses, among others, are doing work that traditionally has been done by a physician.
This increased scope of responsibilities didn’t evolve just to increase the scope of nursing. Primary care physicians numbers are scant, their numbers at historic lows. The need for trained care professionals who can step into a lead role in the continuum of care is necessitating this shared responsibility.
According to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) 2011 Family Nurse Practitioner Role Delineation Study National Survey Results, additional nursing care does aid in patient increased wellness and satisfaction. This report was derived from a national study of practice of family, pediatric primary care and adult-gerontology nurse practitioners. The study reveals the main types of care that all of these nurses share in common along with the types of patients they see and the environments where these patients obtain care.
Duties Of Today’s Nurse
Here are some the main duties of these nurses from this report. Many of these duties would have historically been associated with a primary care physician’s regimen.
- Maintains confidentiality and privacy according to regulatory standards (e.g., HIPAA)
- Prescribes medications.
- Monitors the safety and effectiveness of interventions.
- Reports suspected abuse, exploitation and/or neglect.
- Performs a focused physical exams.
- Formulates diagnoses.
- Evaluates effectiveness of pharmacological regimen.
- Identifies and refers patient with conditions beyond scope of practice.
- Assesses patient for acute pain.
- Obtains a focused health history.
- Differentiates between normal physiologic changes and abnormal/atypical findings.
- Performs a comprehensive physical exam.
- Develops differential diagnoses
- Orders diagnostic tests
- Documents in accordance with regulatory process and payer source.
- Obtains a comprehensive health history.
- Interprets results from diagnostic tests.
More Facts About Modern Nursing
As increased patient wellness and satisfaction move to the forefront, it’s nice to know that nurses will be there to help care for all of us. Here are some other facts about modern nurses from Nursing@Simmons.