Topics to review during our first week of the course:
Frequently when the shortage of primary care providers is mentioned with regard to healthcare reform, insurance companies and other institutions forget to factor in the impact nurse practitioners can have on increasing access. How do you think we can improve this understanding of the nurse practitioner role?
Discussion 1: Susana Castellanos
Top of Form
As listed in the articles provided, there are many barriers to health care access for patients to receive primary care services from a family nurse practitioner. Among them are the annoyingly-varied scope of practice regulations that are different from state-to-state, health care reimbursement from insurance companies, misinformation regarding the roles of the nurse practitioner in health care, and the unvoiced stigma towards nurse practitioners that might exist (Bernazzani, 2016). These are all factors that impede our ability to practice as primary care providers. These barriers do not decrease the burden on primary care providers, despite the fact that more nurses are graduating from these graduate programs to become nurse practitioners. I believe that if the scope of practice for family nurse practitioners can be more standardized across the United States, rather than varying state-by-state, it would have a huge positive impact on the other barriers. A standardized scope of practice for a family nurse practitioner may reduce confusion regarding the role the FNP has in primary care (Altman, 2016). This will allow easier collaboration between other primary care providers. In addition, reimbursement from insurance companies may be better able to recognize the FNP as a primary care provider. If scope of practice is standardized, perhaps patients can accept care in an easer fashion from an FNP and may promote better access to health care.