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The Bill under consideration is Assembly No. 2792 of the state of New Jersey, introduced on February 1, 2018. It addresses the issue of involuntary commitment to treatment and the involvement of psychiatric advanced practice nurses in this process. I selected this Bill because it was recently introduced and focuses on the problem that needs legal regulation since involuntary commitment to treatment implies some liberty deprivations (State of New Jersey, 2018).
The main points of this Bill include definitions of basic concepts related to mental care, a statement of the role of a psychiatric advanced practice nurse, the outline of the process of screening at psychiatric facilities, and implications for amendment of the law governing involuntary commitment procedures. This Bill is likely to have a positive impact on the Nursing Profession and practice because it would allow nurses certified in mental health to deal with the screening and clinical certificates that are necessary for the process of involuntary commitment.
Research, Practice and Community Organization Issues of the Bill
The research issue relevant to this Bill is the expansion of the role of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. This expansion is the demand of time because in conditions of the shortage of psychiatrists throughout the country or their unequal distribution among mental care facilities nurses can adopt some clinical responsibilities in the area of treatment of patients with mental diseases (de Nesnera & Allen, 2016).
The experience of the New Hampshire mental health system proves that psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners can be successfully integrated into clinical leadership roles (de Nesnera & Allen, 2016). Thus, the expansion of clinical responsibilities and opportunities of nurses in mental care facilities according to the ideas suggested in the Bill is likely to have a positive impact on the mental health system on the whole and patient outcomes in particular.
A clinical practice issue addressed by the Bill is licensing psychiatric advanced practice nurses to complete certificates for commitment as well as execute screening. This change will allow providing mental health services in a setting convenient for a patient and appropriate for his or her recovery. Therefore, the Bill introduces a practical problem of developing the licensing procedure. At the same time, another practical problem of long waiting time in emergency departments is resolved because the expansion of nursing functions will reduce the waiting time.
A community-related issue is that the Bill is developed in agreement with the policy of the state of New Jersey, which presupposes the highest standards of care that allow individuals committed to treatment “to return to full autonomy in their community as soon as it is clinically appropriate” (State of New Jersey, 2018, p. 2). Also, the Bill declares the State support for the development of community-based outpatient treatment providers as well as short-term mental care facilities to allow mentally ill individuals to obtain the necessary care as close to their community as possible.
On the whole, the Bill addresses an important issue of mental care. It is relevant to both nursing and health care on the whole because it is likely to influence nurses as healthcare professionals and patients of mental care facilities. Thus, psychiatric advanced practice nurses will receive expanded functions, which will have a positive impact on patients because they will be screened faster and spend less time waiting, which is crucial for patients who are subjected to involuntary commitment to treatment.
de Nesnera, A., & Allen, D. (2016). Expanding the role of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners in a state psychiatric system: The New Hampshire experience. Psychiatric Services, 67(5), 482-484.
State of New Jersey. (2018). Assembly, No. 2792. Web.