The scope of responsibilities for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) has increased in the past years. One key task that constitutes an APRN responsibility is advocacy. APRNs serve as advocates for patients by availing them with adequate information to enable them make decisions that promote their health. They also conduct patient consultations thereby improving patient satisfaction and acting as a bridge between doctors and the sick (Schmerge, 2016). These healthcare professionals promote community health by spreading awareness on the prevention of diseases.
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In the past, advocacy was not considered a responsibility of advanced practice registered nurses. Although they provide care to patients by examining, diagnosing, and treating them, this was not defined as advocacy. However, they are now considered advocates because they are primary care providers (Schmerge, 2016). Additionally, APRNs have a responsibility not just to their patients but also to the public. For instance, advocacy currently involves political and legislative actions such as petitioning to policymakers to improve health infrastructure for the public. APRNs also advocate for their profession by fighting the legal barriers to their practice.
One of the major issues in APRN practice is the regulatory framework that governs the profession. For instance, in some states, the law requires APRNs to be supervised by physicians. This restriction curtails advocacy because it prevents APRNs from performing to the full extent of their education and competence (Schmerge, 2016). A trend that can be observed in APRN advocacy is the increased blurring of roles between them and other medical professionals. Since advanced practice registered nurses act as advocates, they share this role with other healthcare providers such as physicians. Consequently, patients enjoy a high quality of care provided by the team-based approach adopted by these professionals.
Schmerge, M. (2016). Promoting Patient-Centered Team-Based Care: An Advocacy Toolkit. Yale School of Nursing Digital Theses, 1075. Web.