Effects of the Healthcare Reform on Nurses

Jannie Brooks Professional Practice I NU 420 Dr. Richard McElhaney February 11, 2011 Abstract In this paper, I will discuss the effects of the health care reform on the nursing industry, and nurses becoming the glue to holding the new health care reform intact. Effects of the Health Reforms on Nursing The Health care reform has been a major issue over the past decade. In December, 2009, the decision was made to pass the health care reform (“ANA”, 2010, p. 10). This decision will change America forever, and the nursing industry will help hold this new program together by constituting the largest single group of health care professionals.

The nursing industry will be the glue holding the new healthcare intact. It is estimated that by 2015 the number of nurses will need to increase to over 4 million (Hein, RN, Ed, 2009). A nurse’s main concern is always to insure quality care and safety of their patients; under the new health care reform several new measures have been set into place to ease the transition and improve the quality of care for all patients. The health care reform will provide millions of Americans with health care, and many nurses see their jobs as constantly changing.

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Their positions as primary advocates for their patients can be compromised when adequate healthcare is not provided. The health care reforms are about delivering care that is more effective in the community; this include improving out of hospital services to make sure that people are able to access the care they need (“ANA”, 2010). Many people go to the hospital for minor care, such as colds or a sore throat, because they are unable to pay for the high costs and physician offices usually require a patient to have medical insurances. This causes longer lines and overcrowding at the hospitals.

With the health care reform, the government will provided services to lower the current wait time as well as increase the flow of services provided to the patient. Nurses are the backbone of the health care industry and the will assist in executing majority of the changes that will be coming with these new law reforms. Many health care professional are concerned with the estimated predictions that the need for nurses is going to drastically increase. It is estimated that the growth could grow to over 4 million nurses nationwide (“ANA”, 2010).

The big concern is, will there be enough nurses to provide adequate health care coverage to communities? The government will try to make sure that there is an adequate supply of nurses to meet the increase demand for health services. Nurses are already working twelve hours shifts, but when staffing is low, the hospitals are forced to require nurses to put in more hours or work short staffed. The safety of the patients can be compromised when nurses are sleep deprived and exhausted. The high turnover in the nursing industry has caused health care cost to increase. For every 1 percent increase in nursing turn over the cost for the hospital is 300,000 per year”. Only 30,000 nurses stay after 2 years, and after that it estimated that 50% of them have left their jobs (Zigmond, 2010, p. 10). In the coming years, nurses will be in high demand with the increase in the amount of people getting insurance, and many prospective nurses are unable to afford the high costs of education, so the government has decided to increase funding to make it easier for students to be able to pay.

The nursing field has high standards and regulations set in place that requires students to complete course requirements; this is one reason that there is a large shortage of nurses; another problem is that there is a burn out effect in the nursing industry. The health care reform is the first major investment in prevention for the people, and will greatly increase the need for nurse. Nurses will be starting wellness programs in the communities to encourage good health.

Nurse’s jobs as educators will be to educate the public of prevention of disease; they will begin educating the public about primary preventative care. The first teaching is educating consumers about healthy diets. Nurses will be showing the public how to properly take care of their health. Eating good foods and properly taking their medications will help aid in the effort in decreasing medical costs, this is an important way of keeping people healthy and out of the hospitals.

Nurse’s long term goals are to provide safe and quality healthcare. Nurses will be leaders in developing resources and addressing patient health care literacy. Many facilities will have nurses doing majority of the health care coverage in wellness clinics. People who have a sore throat, flu or a cough will be encouraged to go to the wellness clinics to avoid overcrowding hospitals. Midwives will be an important factor in clinics to help deliver babies and help with pediatric questions that may arise (“ANA”, 2010).

Patients who are terminally ill will have to be treated with hospice care and will not be allowed to be readmitted to the hospital in order to help keep costs down. These reforms are about delivering better healthcare and better hospitals. Under the new reform several measures will take effect in 2014 and all of these changes will have drastic effects on the nursing industry References Hein, E. C. , RN, EdD (2001). Nursing Issues in the 21st Century Perspectives from the Literature. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. Stanhope, M. , & Lancaster, J. 2006). Foundation of Nursing in the Community. In (Series Ed. ) & (Vol. Ed. ), Influences on Health Care Delivery and Nursing: Vol. Second Edition. , (p. 56). St. Louis, Missouri: Mosby Elsevier. The American Nurses Association. [Special issue]. (2010). ANA Policy & Provisions of Health Reform. Retrieved from http://www. nursingworld. org\main menu categories\healthcare & policy issues\healthsystem reform. aspx Zigmond, J. (2010, October, 2010). Hospital Executives working to lower operating costs as Reform Kicks in. Modern Healthcare, 10-11.

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