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Nurse Recruitment: Affordable Care Act Demands More Advanced Practice Nurses

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, September 4th, 2014

With the Affordable Care Act there could be an additional 32 million to 38 million people covered with health insurance. Raising the bar for nurse recruitment is necessary as advanced practice nurses will be needed to care for them. Most registered nurses have an associate’s or, increasingly, a bachelor’s degree. But as the face of medicine changes, nursing is changing too, with many getting master’s degrees as advanced practice nurses to be able to order tests and prescribe medicines.

A growing number are going on to a Doctor of Nursing Practice, acquiring the skills not only to offer direct care to patients, but to assist in management and program development, and incorporating findings from new research. It typically takes 13 years from the time research is done to the time the findings are applied to change patient practices. Part of the training in getting a DNP is designed to help shrink thaNurse Educationt lag time.

As healthcare professionals try to curb costs while improving outcomes, they increasingly look at the whole patient, including family situation and lifestyle, trying to prevent problems, not just treat them. The Affordable Care Act is accelerating that development, pushing the market into creating a continuum of care. Advanced nursing degrees fit well into that theory because nursing has always been about the person and not just the illness, considering the physical, psychological, social, financial and even spiritual concerns.

Entry level nursing programs still require a lot of classroom time and clinical work, but the advanced degrees can increasingly be done with a mix of online and clinical practice, some requiring little or no class time.

Advance practice nurses specialize in one of four areas: Nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, or nurse midwives.

More nurses will be needed to meet this demand. To learn the most effective strategies for nurse recruitment and nurse retention, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to schedule a complimentary consultation about your facility’s needs.

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