Title : Enhancing the quality of patient care through development and utilization of the nurse practitioner role appropriately
Nurse Practitioners are an important component of the healthcare arena in providing high quality, patient centered health care to the broadest possible range of consumers. The nurse practitioner scope of practice, the required education, and credentialing vary worldwide. The role continues to develop and evolve which may lead to confusion and dissatisfaction with employment for Nurse Practitioners as the role is not clearly defined. I will discuss the basic role of the nurse practitioner using literature that clearly outlines the role with variations in practice settings. The barriers that prevent the nurse practitioner to practice to the fullest of their scope and/or license will be discussed. Included in the barriers are a definitive scope of practice, legislative constraints, physician related issues amongst others. I will discuss potential strategic methods to overcome these barriers. Needed is a model of intra professional collaboration, involvement in government, and organizations that oversee the role. Examples of frameworks discussed in the literature will be brought forth during the presentation to assist the nurse practitioner in defining their role within their practice setting. In order to better deal with certain aspects of conflict encompassed in development of the role I will discuss the use of Emotional Intelligence during this process. I will identify the common similarities in the literature that address the development of the role worldwide.