Policy Analysis and APRN
The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) paved the way for the transformation of the health care system in the United States. The ACA was built on the preventive model and aims to prioritize the provision of quality care in the country. The ACA brought about several transformations and one of these include the enhanced roles of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in the delivery of primary care. One of the issues, however, is that the lack of standardization limit the roles of APRNs, and thereby, their capacity to fulfill their mandates based on the ACA. Three proposed solutions to resolve this problem include the development of a standardized graduate level education program to train APRNs, the development of a national licensing or certification examination for APRNs, and the redefinition of the roles of APRNs in the ACA. Based on the assessment of these options, the best possible alternative is the development of a national licensing or certification for APRNs.
This would make it easier for existing nursing practitioners to transition into their roles as APRNs, while also standardizing their eligibility through the certification or license as authorization for APRNs to fulfill their roles in all states across the US based on the ACA mandates without restriction. Background of the IssueThe Affordable Care Act (ACA), along with Patient Protection policies, was implemented in 2010. The result of this Act’s passage was the implementation of several changes or transformations in the American health care system. The passage of the ACT has influenced Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in the country as they were expected to meet the needs and standards set by the ACA. Essentially, due to the passage of the ACA, APRNs are expected to hold leadership positions in the health care community as providers of primary care (Hoyt & Proehl, 2012). Furthermore, in line with the goal of the ACA to improve the health care system, APRNs are expected to be at the forefront of ensuring that the following objectives are achieved: (a) expanded health care coverage (b) provision of affordable health care, (c) fair and equal treatment of patients, (d) provision of services through Medicare, (e) promotion of health care initiatives and prevention, and (f) the development of new models of care (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2012).
Issues arose, however, after the implementation of the ACA in relation to the role of APRNs. One of the main issues concerning the outcome of the implementation of the ACA is the lack of standardization in the goals and objectives and nature or track of programs that aim to prepare APRNs for their crucial roles in primary care. The lack of standardization in the programs for preparing APRNs from education to training would affect practice and the delivery of accessible care to populations. In a study conducted by Hain and Fleck (2014), the researchers argued that the lack of standardization in preparation programs for APRNs led to …