The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has identified eight Baccalaureate-level Essentials for nursing practice. The eighth essential, which I have chosen to elaborate on is Health Care Policy, Financing, and Regulatory Environments. This essential focuses on the nurse’s understanding of economic and political forces that shape health care delivery as well as their ability to use current technologies in order to influence health care outcomes.
As a nurse, it is important to be knowledgeable about the current health care policy and understand how state and federal regulations affect patient outcomes. It requires nurses to research current policies in order to stay up-to-date with changing regulations. Additionally, this knowledge can help nurses advocate for better access or quality of healthcare for their patients and community members. Understanding these policies also allows nurses to identify when potential ethical issues may arise from certain policies or practices that are not aligned with best practices or evidence based standards of care.
It is also necessary for a nurse to be aware of different financing models within healthcare such as Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance companies etc., and their impact on patient’s access to services they may need or even the cost associated with them. Knowing the various ways patients are covered financially can help guide decision making when developing individualized plans of care specific to each patient’s needs while still being mindful of cost containment strategies employed by organizations. Furthermore, this knowledge could give insight into disparities among populations who may not have adequate insurance coverage needed due poverty levels or lack thereof leading one group having more access than another group with less resources at their disposal thus creating an unequal playing field in terms of receiving quality healthcare across groups within a population .
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