Community healthcare nurses have the responsibilities of addressing society needs in line with the 2010 Healthcare Reform Act. In United States, the Act presents them with increased privileges and opportunities to provide care and play significant role in initiating change through reforms. To effectively participate in reform initiatives, nurses must critically examine and understand existing opportunities in the healthcare field. For example, patients desire for improved services at affordable cost. Similarly, there is need for more efforts in prevention of chronic diseases while emphasizing on calm and compassion. Therefore, community care providers must contribute in the initiation, development and implementation of health care reforms.
Contributions of Community Health Nurses
Nurses are tasked with responsibilities to ensure that the healthcare system is robust and is adequately ready for future challenges. Meadows (2009) outline that they play key roles in preventing diseases and injuries, managing and providing care across board. However, community healthcare nurses must effectively assess community needs, provide medical solutions to problems, ensure effective implementation of health care initiatives and conduct evaluation to ascertain whether services are congruent to identified needs. For that, nurses must fully contribute in reform agenda.
First, due to the fact that these nurses critically understand what affects community members, they must use their skills and innovation to assist in the development of reform initiatives that adequately expand access to care and improves quality at reduced cost. They should spearhead initiatives that expand care to the elderly to reduce hospital visits for patients with multiple chronic diseases. Second, it is within their practice to generate tangible evidence on care improvement by engaging in research. Reform guidelines are not born and implemented without valid research. They can positively contribute in coining new reform agenda by actively collecting data with strong scientific and nursing foundation to address the ever growing needs. Third, they must also reform nursing education by consistently adding new knowledge to address community concerns. Experts outline that senior medical personnel must play key roles in training juniors on how to roll out new methods and techniques of providing care to the needy (Billings and Halstead, 2015). This is critical as it instills truism that aid decision making. Fourth, they should be able to expand scope of practice as this will help them integrate new methods in nursing practice. For instance, it is imperative for them to include how to effectively collaborate with other medical professionals in reform ideas. This is critical in eliminating barriers and challenges that have inhibited provision of quality care to patients. Finally, they must technologically contribute to aspects of security of patient records. A growing concern in the nursing practice is the ability of nurses to protect electronic medical records from unauthorized or malicious access (Hassmiller, 2010). Therefore, nurses must ensure that aspects of technology use in nursing practice are adequately addressed in the development of reforms.
Community nurses play significant roles during the development and implementation of healthcare reforms. Nursing practice must always be guided by new ideas and initiatives. This is comparable to fight against diseases whose microorganisms mutate. Medical professionals must come up with solutions to address new disease outbreaks and plagues. For that, nurses must integrate new ideas from their research and critical assessment of the needs currently witnessed in communities. Well thought out healthcare reforms will improve quality of care and address affordability of such services.
Billings, M. and Halstead, A. (2015). Teaching in Nursing: A guide for Faculty. Fifth Edition.
Hassmiller, S. (2010). Nursing’s role in healthcare reform. American Nurse Today. Available at:
https://www.americannursetoday.com/nursings-role-in-healthcare-reform/. Accessed April 9, 2018.
Meadows, P. (2009). Community Health Nursing. American Journal of Nursing.