Medical facilities must be coordinated with the behavioral and economic drivers in communities that are most associated with good long-term health for an effective health care system to exist. By providing crucial skills and fostering trust between health care institutions, community organizations, and residents, mediators can assist in this process. Nurses are one of the most crucial types of intermediaries in this area.
Nurse practitioners work in a range of venues, including community health clinics and in-store or independent urgent-care clinics, where patients can be treated rapidly for a variety of episodic illnesses. College campuses, workforce health clinics, and independent clinical practice environments are examples of other practicing venues. Nurse practitioners are said to be just as qualified as physicians to deliver comprehensive treatment and, according to research, their patients agree. Nurse practitioners scored significantly higher than physicians in terms of patient satisfaction among low-income patients in the study. Nurse practitioners are renowned for their people skills as they listen carefully to their patient’s needs.
Doctors are scientists at heart who research ailments and ways to treat them. Nurse practitioners are healers at heart. The great majority of them begin their careers as registered nurses (RNs), focusing on whole body and mind wellbeing. That said, there is an overlap of the learning and practices but the basic philosophy used is slightly different.
What is the difference between a registered nurse (RN), a nurse practitioner (NP), and a community nurse?
A registered nurse normally pursues a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree. Thereafter, they need to apply for licensure with the appropriate boards of certification.
A registered nurse can then choose to pursue further studies to become a nurse practitioner. They can opt for a Master of Science in Nursing or even a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Nurse practitioners have a great number of choices in terms of where they want to go with their schooling and careers in terms of specialization. They will be required to pass a specific nurse practitioner exam, which is a comprehensive test of the procedures and theories often employed in their selected field of practice. Nursing practitioners can seek licensure after passing this test.
An NP with a master’s degree has more autonomy than ordinary nurses, with certain states permitting them to practice without the supervision of a physician. You can get a master’s degree in nursing online without putting your life on hold, thanks to online education. You can complete much of your degree from home and on a schedule that allows you to continue working if you enroll in an online MSN program.
Community health nurses must have the same credentials as other licensed nurses, which usually includes a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Communications, analytics, scientific reasoning, and culture studies are all integrated into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing. While nurses work primarily one-on-one with patients, community health nurses concentrate on entire communities. School nurses are also classified as community nurses. The job of the community nurse is determined by the communities they serve; lower-income, school-aged, and culturally diverse populations all have unique requirements. Community health nurses can also work for parishes or public health departments.
Driving Community Health
Nurse practitioners can play an important role as community leaders in initiating projects that enhance local public health and assisting in the building of an environment that responds to residents’ needs. This encouraging advice assists residents in dealing with ever-changing local health issues.
Some cultures have traditions that influence the type of treatment they want. Nurses who work with different cultures must establish relationships and acquire the trust of the people they serve. It enables people to advocate for the community to guarantee that their views are respected. One of the most significant developments in nursing — and a benefit to patients — is that the healthcare workforce is becoming more diverse. Nurses with similar cultural backgrounds to the communities they serve have a better understanding of how to respect norms and communicate successfully.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) can have a significant and positive impact on communities by advocating for patients and providing excellent care. They can promote public well-being through legislative advocacy since they are front-line witnesses to many patient experiences. In order to do so, nurses will need to obtain experience in a new arena: politics.
Policies for Change
Full-time caregivers may find their first tentative steps into politics strange but because of their frontline position with the community, they are the best advocates to plea for changes in policies. Nurse practitioners must learn to speak up for the community’s demands during the legislative process. Nurse practitioners can establish relationships that enable them to identify important public health resources, services, and concerns. As a result, NPs who have a thorough awareness of all local civic concerns can effectively advocate for programs that will improve community health outcomes.
By continuing to educate people about their health, practitioners can establish a reputation as healthcare specialists, while also encouraging a two-way interaction with local citizens. Patients who are familiar with NPs as public health educators are also more inclined to open up about their concerns during routine office visits. Patients are more likely to embrace programs given by their local community wellness advocate when they collaborate with NPs.
Preventative Health Care in Communities
By assisting people in living longer, healthier lives, prevention benefits entire communities. Healthy youngsters attend school more days and have an easier time participating and learning. Adults work longer hours and are more productive at work. Seniors who maintain their health can keep their independence for longer periods and have a stronger sense of well-being.
Evidence-based preventive care services have been shown to improve health by identifying and managing risk factors for poor health outcomes before they become complicated and potentially burdensome. This proactive approach to care also helps healthcare organizations and patients save money. Nurse practitioners play a huge role in this area. Regular check-ups, disease immunizations, counseling on critical health topics, cancer screenings, and routine testing such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels are all examples of preventive care services.
Furthermore, NP training focuses on holistic care for individuals, families, and communities, whereas physician education focuses on diagnosis and treatment. NPs are also crucial in the prevention and promotion of health across the lifetime. As a result, NPs are in a unique position to impact patient behavior through the development of strong, trusting, and long-term relationships. Individuals can be empowered by NPs to make better health decisions and lifestyle changes that help avoid chronic disease through one-on-one conversations.
Nurses are well educated, not just in terms of medical care but also in terms of leadership. They are increasingly able and licensed to provide health care services directly to patients. As a result, they are in a unique position to connect patients and other community health workers to high-level medical services, hospitals, and specialists.
Primary care NPs have the potential to relieve the strain on an already overburdened healthcare system. However, in many places, legal and regulatory constraints, such as license regulations and “scope of practice” policies, limit the services that NPs can provide and prevent them from practicing to their full potential. Allowing nurse practitioners to use the full scope of their education can result in a complete, fair healthcare system that caters to the needs of all citizens.
Let the Nurses Nurse
Nurse practitioners are a ready, willing, and capable workforce. Their education and skill set puts them in a great position to assist expand primary care access. Expanding NP practice authority to its maximum extent, permitting NP independence, will increase the frequency of routine exams, improves service quality, and reduces patient visits to the emergency room. The healthcare environment is being reshaped by increased primary-care demand from an aging population, growing health-care expenses, and limited access to care. NPs are the answer to many of these concerns. Allowing them to put their education and experience into practice can alleviate many of these challenges being faced by the healthcare system in terms of increasing quality, lowering costs, and appropriately addressing public health priorities.
Florence Nightingale is known as the founder of modern nursing and is quoted as saying: “What cruel mistakes are sometimes made by benevolent men and women in matters of business about which they know nothing and think they know a great deal.”
Our knowledge of the relationship between social circumstances and health is expanding. We’re also discovering that a functional health system necessitates teams that not only coordinate medical services but also do a better job of linking patients with community resources. This necessitates a larger reliance on intermediates who can engage with individuals more directly and regularly, and who have the flexibility and contacts to connect them with medical and other services. However, more needs to be done to empower nurse practitioners as mediators by addressing data challenges, enhancing nurse training and professional duties, and harmonizing financial goals. NPs play an enormous role in our communities and we need to stand behind them to ensure they may continue to serve and heal.