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Patient advocacy is a critical role for the nursing profession. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) role in advocating for equitable population health services and polices has three main goals. Providing better care to the population, ensuring positive health outcomes, and lowering the healthcare cost for all individuals (Hain & Fleck, 2017). APRNs should advocate for equitable population health service by caring for the populations within the complex healthcare systems as well as be allowed to practice to the fullest extent of their education and training, but we all know that there are limits that the APRNs are currently trying to change for that reason alone. Persistence are key components to breaking down barriers to APRN practice (Lofgren et al., 2017). Some of the major barriers and challenges APRNs are facing include state licensure regulations with practice limitations from state-to-state variations. Another is physician acknowledgment and augments, professional associations and organizations such as the American Medical association do not believe that the APRNs are capable of providing quality safe care due to the fact of length and rigorous training physicians have to go through versus the APRNs. One other big barrier is the payer policies, commercial health plan payment policies often do not recognize the APRNs as primary care providers therefore resist to credentialing or directly paying them for their services provided and delivered to the patients, this is why the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) state for billing purposes physicians must establish initial care and the nurse practitioner (NP) will perform the follow up care with physician on site.
Hain, D., & Fleck, L. (2017). Barriers to nurse practitioner practice that impact healthcare redesign. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 19(2).
Lofgren, M. A., Berends, S. K., Reyes, J., Wycoff, C., Kinnetz, M., Frohling, A., & OBrien, M. (2017). Scope of practice barriers for advanced practice registered nurses: a state task force to minimize barriers. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 47(9), 465-469.
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