Professional Development of Nursing Professionals

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Professional Development of Nursing Professionals
In 2010 the United States Government passed into law the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Passage of this act enacted broad sweeping changes across the health care system focusing on expanded coverage, control of health care costs and improvement in the health care delivery system (Kaiser Family Foundation [KFF], 2013). This represents the largest change to the nation’s health care system since 1965 with the creation of Medicare and Medicaid programs (Institute of Medicine of the National Academies [IOM], 2010). As the “largest segment of the health care workforce,” nursing is at the forefront of these historic changes and as such, plays an integral role in the successful implementation of
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This poses a significant threat to an already strained healthcare system. As such, nursing is being looked upon as a credible, viable source for bridging the gap between coverage and access (IOM, 2010). Statistics have shown that advanced practice nursing scope of practice in the primary care setting is similar to medical practice performed by physicians as much as 98 percent (IOM, 2010, p. 90). Nurses are thus increasingly utilized as primary care providers and can effectively manage chronic illnesses with improved clinical outcomes and fewer acute exacerbations (IOM, 2010, p. 94).
Since 2010 the IOM report has had a sweeping impact on the nursing field. With its hallmark mandate to have 80 percent of the nursing workforce hold a baccalaureate degree or higher by 2020, nursing employers, particularly in the acute care setting, have begun to require a BSN degree as a minimum requirement of employment regardless of prior experience. I have taken upon myself to rise to this challenge by obtaining my BSN degree and as a long-term goal advance my career into the field of advanced practice nursing in anesthesia. I further plan to take a more active leadership role in the nursing community by participating in department and inter-department meetings and committees.
As the IOM report has shown, nurses have a unique and valuable perspective that is essential to providing
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