Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
- Clinician 1
- FaceBook (the many pages dedicated to different advanced practice nursing groups)
- LinkedIn (NP groups)
- Advance for NPs & PAs
- The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (has a networking site that is difficult to find)
- The ENP Network
- Many NPs on Twitter
- NP Central Listserv
- NP blogs
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I’ve spent years pursuing different avenues in the health care industry. I spent my high school years studying to become a CAN, I was at one point a EMT, and I eventually turned to alternative practices like massage therapy, herbs and general fitness and nutrition. Not long ago, though, I heard a term that was relatively new to me – legal nurse consulting.
My aunt told me about her pursuit of a legal nurse consulting certification. Her goal was to pass the certification exam and open her own business, partnering with lawyers around the country to help them understand medical charts and the medical profession as a whole.
Sounds great, right?
I’m wondering if it really is.
I urge anyone who is considering legal nurse consulting to consider the pros and cons. While it is certainly an admiral and profitable career path, it may limit your future choices.
First of all, legal nurse consulting is not a get-rich-quick solution to your problems. If you feel overworked and underpaid, odds are you may feel the same way while working with lawyers – especially when it comes time to chase down your payments.
Another thing to consider is the fact that you are basically turning your back on the industry you work in. Nurses and doctors do make mistakes, but if you label yourself as someone willing to point out those mistakes (in practice or in paperwork), employers may be hesitant to hire you as a nurse in the future.
Legal nurse consulting isn’t an easy job. It’s for organized, professional individuals who have time and who are dedicated to helping those who have been injured by the medical profession find vindication. The job can be cold and lonely and – honestly – simply isn’t for everyone.
Take some time to think about your chosen career path and don’t jump to legal nurse consulting simply because of the claims that you will make $150 per hour for your work. The reality is that you’re going to work incredibly hard for your money – just as hard or harder as you would work on the hospital floor. Make sure you’re making the right choice for you.
Deborah Dera is a full-time writer specializing in personal finance, credit repair, online degrees, health, fitness, and nutrition. She is the founder of Write on the Edge and offers unique content solutions to business owners who want to strengthen their online brands.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
CareFirst Insurer Expands Role of Nurse Practitioners, IOM Recommends Same
Last week, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, an insurer in Baltimore, Maryland, announced that it would enable nurse practitioners to serve as primary-care providers in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and the D.C. area. In response to both the physician shortage, which is expected to take a turn for the worse in the coming years, and to the health care reform law, which will produce an huge spike in insured patients by 2014, CareFirst made the decision to grant more authority to nurse practitioners.
As quoted in a recent FierceHealthCare article, CareFirst Senior Vice President for Networks Management Bruce Edwards noted:
"With these developments ahead and an existing need to expand access to these services, allowing nurse practitioners to practice independently as primary-care providers is a logical move to serve our members better."
The CareFirst decision to recognize nurse practitioners as primary-care providers, meaning patients will no longer have to see physicians before receiving care, was made in tandem with Maryland Coalition of Nurse Practitioners (MCNP) and the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland.
In related news, the Institute of Medicine released a report earlier this month, entitled "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health", which recommended the expansion of nurses' roles as well. The report urged both federal and state governments to ease regulations that impede nurses to practice to the full extent of their educational capabilities.
Although many physicians were critical of the report, claiming that a physician's education and field experience cannot be equated to that of nurses', the IOM panel argued that its recommendations were not meant to be divisive.
Reporting on the IOM's recommendations, an American Medical News article quoted Dr. Donna Shalala, who headed the panel that collaborated on the report. Shalala asserted that "This is not about one profession substituting for another...This is about a collaborative effort among those who represent medicine in this country to make it better and to improve outcomes for every patient and every American family."
Another key component of the IOM's report is expanding nursing education so that nurses will be able to meet the demand of newly insured patients with a knowledgeable skill set. It went on to propose that nursing education be better integrated with physician training such that nurses will be better prepared for more collaborative roles as care providers. The report furthermore underscored the need for encouraging nurses to pursue doctoral degrees.