Nurses as Leaders in Healthcare Reform
Miami Regional University
NUR4900 – Capstone RN to BSN
Prof. Laritza Varona
November 25, 2021
Due to disparities, suboptimal outcomes, unsustainable costs, access problems, and fragmentation. Salmond and Echevarria (2017). Explain that the great urgency of change in the role of nurses was influenced by the concerns on disease-type demographics. And the cost and quality issues. There are varying programs led by the Centers for Medicare. And Medicaid Services and the Affordable Care Act to improve quality and cost. These created the need for care coordination and interdisciplinary team to reduce spending, improve outcomes. And improve care especially attributed to adverse drug interactions, multiple prescriptions, repeated diagnostic testing; unnecessary emergency department utilization; and unnecessary hospitalization (Salmond and Echevarria, 2017). Due to these changing health programs, nurses are part of the transformative change which requires a change from patient-centered care, fee-for-service care, provider-based care, and episodic care across a continuum that provides quality, affordable, and seamless care.
The 21st healthcare has transformed, calling for 21st-century nurses to be an agent of change. This was facilitated by the release of The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health in 2010 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The report provides the role of nurses as a catalyst of change. Besides, the role of nurses’ leaders is evolving and expanding, which thus requires nurse leaders to build their knowledge base on professionalism, leadership, communication, and business skills (Bouchad et al., 2017). The health problems in the 21st century require nurse managers to build the gap between the administration and the clinical by understanding professional and personal development, the business aspect of management, and learning ways to lead with knowledge in human resources and leadership skills.
Nurses are in higher demand due to the increased aging population who are developing chronic diseases. These changes increase the healthcare cost. According to Cutler (2019), nurses reduce healthcare costs as a nurse’s cost is slightly above $1 per minute, that of a physician is $3 per minute, and surgeon costs $6 per minute. Some of the roles of the physicians and surgeons can be performed by nurses hence increasing the need for nurse leaders in healthcare reform. Besides, health institutions with a higher nurse-to-patient ratio have better patient outcomes. Similarly, the increased specialization in nursing places nurses in leadership roles.
Measures to Improve Nurse Leadership
Nurse leadership can be promoted by training nurses on change management to understand how to respond to the changing healthcare system. For example, it is important that nurses understand the economics of accountable care organization (ACO) payment models to help reduce readmissions, monitor specialist care, and meet quality goals. The second measures are the increased specialization in nursing where nurses can choose from. The ongoing reforms require all nurses to be leaders in the reform system’s design, implementation, evaluation, and advocacy. To act as full partners, nurses need leadership competencies and skills to help them operate as full partners with other health professionals.