Advanced Practice Nurses

Role of APN as Advocate, Clinician, Educator and Researcher

There is increased demand for advanced practice nursing (APN) roles due to the changing health care system. APNs maximizes on the utilization of nursing knowledge as they contribute to profession functions developments as a leader and change agent. Certainly, their capacity on promoting leadership and potentiating change is inherent in an educator’s scope. It involves multiple roles that are related to research, education, clinical practice, organizational leadership and professional development. 

APNs Role as Researchers

The APN are involved actively and indirectly in studies related to nursing. According to Health Leaders Media Staff (2009), the APNs roles include the 5Cs coordinating, consolidating, conducting, consulting, and committing to research. APN researchers should lead other nurses in research projects. They are also responsible for collaborating with other health professionals in implementing evidence-based practice (EBP). They act as mentors for nurses in the process of research and use of EBP. Also, they encourage and help nurses to publish their research outcomes. 

APNs Role as Educator

It is the role of nursing educators to educate nurses (in staff development, academic and clinical areas) about the process of diseases, and their management on a nursing-oriented perspective in advancing nurse as a science and art. According to Link (2009), the synthesis of information by nurse educators and nurses is similar. APNs as educators integrate theoretical, practical and research knowledge in assessing the outcome to accomplish the objective. In the production of a quality healthcare professional, there should be cooperation among community clinicians, administration, faculty, academic institution, students, healthcare facilities and their staff, and patients that are willing to have students providing them with care under the supervision of a preceptor or licensed professional. 

APN as Advocate

In nursing practice, advocacy is an essential concept that describes the nurse-client relationship. From a public health perspective, Vaartio and Leino-Kilpi (2005) explains that advocacy acts as a tool which engages the public in formulating policies that address health inequalities among various populations. Nurses as advocacy are responsible for protecting the rights and interest of patients in a health care setting. Therefore, nurses and patients should have an existential advocacy, where the two interacts in a way that they understand the meaning of health experience, suffering, illness and dying. In this context, nurses allow patients to decide their best interest in all situations which will help them in exercising their self-determination. 

APNs as Clinicians

The clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is a skilled clinician who disseminates knowledge while applying evidence-based practice in their role. Manthey et al. (2009) explain that the CNS integrates a myriad of functions in the provision of exception care where they utilize their superior clinical knowledge in the effective treatment of diseases and illness. The CNS is a universal scope as it offers an opportunity to nurses to influence the methods of care, the definition of evolving practice and promotional of techniques enhancing cost effectiveness and efficiency of processes. Although studies indicate that innovative tools like the internet promote advocacy, it is evident that CNS also have foundations of demanding community connection, specific clinical experiences and academic training, which all encourages health outcomes. 

Differences between Evidence Based Practice and Research

Quality improvement support, evidence-based practice (EBP), and research are the primary goals of the Magnet Model and Magnet Recognition Program component of improvements, innovation, and new knowledge. Conner (2014) explains that the investigation is conducted for the purpose of generating new knowledge or validating existing knowledge based on theory. The studies of research involve systematic, scientific inquiry that test hypothesis and answers research questions by use of disciplined, rigorous methods. For reliable and valid research results, a scientific method that is orderly and uses sequential steps should be incorporated by researchers.

In contrast to research, EBP does not develop new knowledge nor does it validate existing knowledge. According to Conner (2014), EBP involves translation of evidence and its application to clinical decision making. EBP utilizes the best available evidence in making patient care decisions. EBP unlike research does not search for knowledge but uses research’s best evidence as for its core. EBP operates in the ideology that the best proof is the opinion from experts and leaders even if it lacks absolute research knowledge. In conclusion, research is about knowledge whereas EBP pertains the innovation regarding translating and searching for clinical practice evidence. 

Case Management and Utilization

Case management and utilization management programs are structured to coordinate, promote and evaluate cost-effective and quality services. Every case management priority in intervention is granting support to a client to ensure they enjoy the best support and care over a time continuum for positive clinical outcomes. Nevertheless, case managers are required to deal with the “medical necessity” or “medical appropriateness” of care which is known as “utilization management” or “utilization review.” Utilization management and case management are closely related. The intervention of utilization management ensures that clients acquire the “right care at the right time” to lower cost as well as improve clinical outcomes (Stricker, 2012). The goal of utilization management is not to restrict or limit care but ensuring that patients receive appropriate care. 

Managed Care and the Importance of Quality Care Initiatives and Performance Indicators

In providing quality care, Stunton (2017) mentions that managed care plans should have set access clinical performance measures and evidence-based clinical information, and they should be informed about the current recommendations for preventive are. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) provides funds to research and development of preventive care recommendations and clinical performance measures. Managed care organizations (MCOs) ensure that individuals that are enrolled in their plans enjoy quality health care. In fulfilling their responsibilities, the MCOs should make sure that both their members and providers receive the best care. Researchers are funded by AHRQ, where they develop performance guidelines and measures to consumers, insurers, providers, and MCOs.

Importance and Application of Health Care Information, Data Mining

Today, data mining is used extensively an intensively by a majority of organizations. Specifically, data mining in health care is becoming popular and essential. Taranu (2015) explains that its applications are highly beneficial to all parties involved in the industry of health care. For example, it assists patients to receive better and cost effective care, physicians in identifying best practices and effective treatments, healthcare organizations in achieving management decisions for customer relationship, and healthcare insurers in detecting abuse and fraud. 

Currently, health agencies can generate and collect large volumes of data, which calls for data retrieval. Taranu (2015) also states that the application of information technology ensures data mining automation and knowledge that assists in the formulation of unusual patterns that means the direct elimination of manual tasks and easy extraction of data from electronic transfer system that reduces cost, saves lives and secures medical records. It also facilitates early detection of infectious diseases by utilization of advanced data collection. Due to the state of raw healthcare data- heterogeneous and voluminous, there is need to collect and store it in an organized form. 

References

Conner, B. (2014). Differentiating research, evidence-based practice, and quality improvement. Official Journal Of Ameriscan Nurses Association, 9(6). Retrieved from https://www.americannursetoday.com/differentiating-research-evidence-based-practice-and-quality-improvement/

HealthLeaders Media Staff. (2009). Advanced Practice Nurses Help Meet Nursing Research Needs. Healthleaders Media Staff,. Retrieved from http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/nurse-leaders/advanced-practice-nurses-help-meet-nursing-research-needs?nopaging=1

Link, D. (2009). The Teaching-Coaching Role of the APN. The Journal Of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing, 23(3), 279-283. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/jpn.0b013e3181b0b8d2

Manthey, M., Lewis, M., Guanci, Karnas, Lampe, & Potter et al. (2009). Creative Nursing. A Journal Of Values, Issues, Experience & Collaboration, 18(3). Retrieved from http://lghttp.48653.nexcesscdn.net/80223CF/springer-static/media/springer-journals/samples/10784535.pdf#page=18

Stricker, P. (2012). The Role of Utilization Management in Case Management. Case Managemnt Society Of America. Retrieved from http://www.cmsa.org/Individual/NewsEvents/HealthTechnologyArticles/tabid/649/Default.aspx

Stunton, M. (2017). AHRQ Tools for Managed Care. Agency Of Health Research And Quality, (11). Retrieved from https://archive.ahrq.gov/research/findings/factsheets/managed/mcotoolria/index.html

Taranu, I. (2015). Data mining in healthcare: decision making and prec. Database System Journal, IV. Retrieved from http://www.dbjournal.ro/archive/22/22_5.pdf

Vaartio, H., & Leino-Kilpi, H. (2005). Nursing advocacy—a review of the empirical research 1990–2003. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 42(6), 705-714.

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