The transition of an RN to the role of an APN can be exciting and at the same timed apprehensive - APN Role introduction. It is essential that RNs who chose to transition roles into becoming an APN is aware of the basic elements of the crucial role of the APN in the healthcare industry. The APN functions in the capacity as a healthcare provider and is viewed by the society as an individual who can treat, educate, advocate, and provide healthcare services. Therefore the APN ought to have the ability to identify possibly barriers that patients may face which may impact their decision to be compliant with the treatment regimen established for their well being. According to Pender, Murdaugh and Parsons (2011), the Health Belief Model (HBM) has been widely used in preventive care such as self breast examinations and condom use. The HBM further discuss the fact that people may have the belief that they are not susceptible to a certain disease therefore will not be involved in taking positive preventive actions to avoid such illness.
As RN students studying to be APNs, preventive care is a key aspect of care the APN provides and it is essential that we are cognizant of this piece and incorporate it into our training and practice to become highly qualified APNs. In addition, to be adequately prepared for the APN role, RN students must aim to understand what the patient’s perception of their current health status is and current beliefs they have about their illness or conditions. This will enable the APN to adequately teach and guide patients and help them change certain risky behaviors such as smoking or poor eating habits that can lead to illness such as cancer or diabetes.
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In order for a behavior to be accepted, the individual needs to believe that “new” behaviors prevail over the continuation of the old behavior. For example, lack of exercise can lead to obesity vs. frequent exercise will maintain a healthy heart and live a healthy life. Change is hard; however it can be also be good especially when it involves living an illness-free life. APN have the ability to positively influence patients and RN students studying to become APN must be willing to learn new things/concepts, get involved in research and go the extra mile in obtaining information that will positively benefit patient behaviors.