The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is a professional organization for nurses which was formed on in 2013. It was as a result of a merger between the American College of Nurse Practitioners and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. The mission of AANP is to enable all nurses to improve quality care through leadership, research, advocacy, education and practice (Brush et al. 2015). The AANP provides nurses with a unified approach for networking and advocating their issues. The AANP was the first organization created for nurse practitioners in the U.S, and it is the largest national membership organization for nurses of all specialties. The AANP represents interests of over 250,000 nurse practitioners licensed to practice in the United States (Brush et al. 2015). The AANP campaigns for nurses at federal, state, and local levels for the acknowledgment of nurses as providers of personalized, cost-effective and high-quality care.
Roles of the Advanced Practice Nurse in Advocacy & Policy Change
Advocacy is a significant role in the nursing profession. Advocacy is deliberated as an ethic of nursing practice and is the center of the nursing profession. Patients and families usually find themselves lacking important information and overwhelmed when faced with increasingly complex health care complication. Such vulnerability has cited the importance of advocacy at the microsocial level (Buerhaus et al. 2015).
With advanced education and a vast experience caring for patients and their families, advanced practice nurses are prepared to serve as advocates through providing a much-needed voice for their patients, their profession, their communities, and for themselves. For instance, the APN advocates for their patients in their healthcare setting in various ways including providing essential information to inform decision making; fostering collaboration; communication patient preferences; and protecting patients from harm (Buerhaus et al. 2015).
APNs also play an important role in policy change within the health care system. APNs should perceive themselves as influential professional and future healthcare delivery systems. Advance practice nurse formulates policies and integrates appropriate guidelines for the delivery of care. APNs influence practice standards to assure the quality of care through advocacy work. Advanced practice nurse helps to shape the care that is provided offered and in the future. Policies also influence the allocation of resources to support the provision of healthcare (Buerhaus et al. 2015).
How Advanced Practice Nurse Influence Policy
Nurses possess a unique role in formulating health care policies. Advance practice nurses have the potential to formulate healthcare policies which influence the current and future delivery of healthcare systems. The nursing practice is based on the science of human health and care. It operates from a framework that seeks to improve the health of society throughout their lives and across all levels of society and values all people in a holistic way (Yee et al. 2013).
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To ensure delivery of quality healthcare, it is important that there exist policies that define and integrate standards of delivering healthcare. APNs influence practice standards to ensure delivery of quality care through policy work. Also, APNs influence policy through shaping care which will be provided today and in the future. APNs help formulate policies which support the delivery of care and impact allocation of resources (Yee et al. 2013).
Barriers that may hinder Advanced Practice Nurse in Advocacy & Policy Change
When APNs advocate for clients, they may encounter certain hindrances linked to the environments which they work. The efforts to advocate for a client may be unsuccessful, and APNs can encounter many challenges when addressing the welfare, choices, and rights of their parents. These barriers include:
Powerlessness is a significant barrier to patient advocacy. For instance, when nurses are working as a team, and neglect or shortcoming happens during nursing practice, a nurse with knowledge may notice it but may not speak about it properly. The nurse may be too cautious to mention it or not because they are powerless. Conversely, powerless hinders APNs’ potential to policy changes within a healthcare setting (Rose, 2013).
Lack of support for Nurses
Lack of support is another important advocacy barrier. Most nurses feel that they do not get any support by action from their seniors. For nurses to be competent advocator, they need to be empowered by their managers. When nurses are not supported, the patients cannot be supported as well (Rose, 2013).
Poor communication is a critical barrier for nurse practitioners to be an effective patient advocate. Prospective studies indicate that at the intensive care unit (ICU) nurses usually do not have much time to discuss with their patients (Josse-Eklund et al. 2014). In the current healthcare system, close relationship with patients has been substituted with processes of recording. Nurses are required to have a rapport with the patient and seek the patient’s needs to attain the patient’s affairs.
Registered Professional Organization
As a nurse practitioner, I have joined the American Nurse Association (ANA). The mission for ANA is to help nurses advance their profession to improve care for all. The philosophy of ANAN is that all nurses are as powerful, unified force in engaging clients and transforming healthcare delivery. The goals for ANA include improving engagement and nurses of nurses in ANA and to position nurses as core partners in patient’s health and healthcare journeys. I chose to join ANA because it will help me advance my profession and hence improve healthcare for my patients.