Demand for Quality Nurses in New Jersey Continues to Grow
Ben Evans, President of the New Jersey State Nurses Association, explains the differences between registered nurses and advance practice nurses, and the ever-growing need for nurses throughout New Jersey and the country.
"State of Affairs is pleased to welcome Dr. Ben Evans, President of the New Jersey State Nurses Association. Good to see you Ben. Good to see you Steve. Nursing profession. It is changing every day in so many interesting ways. The biggest change you've seen over the last five years is? A move towards quality and a greater push for staffing accountability I think. What does that mean? Well, patient safety and patient outcomes are driven by how we staff in healthcare settings and so there's a push to make sure that we have enough qualified staff taking care of the patients to ensure quality outcomes. It's so interesting. We've talked about this before. To disclose, the Nurses Association is one of the underwriters of our programming here at the Caucus Educational Corporation. But one of the things I've learned in some of our past programs is that a nurse is not a nurse. Meaning it's not just every category. So I want you to help us on this. Okay. A registered nurse versus an advanced practice nurse? Registered nurse has basic generalist education across a broad scope of discipline. They're licensed by the state of New Jersey and they direct the nursing care of patients. An advanced practice nurse is someone who is prepared at the Master’s or Doctoral level in a specialty area of care and they can prescribe and manage healthcare conditions for individuals. So as we talk to Ben, we're going into the summer of 2017. We don't know what's going to happen in Washington regarding the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration, the Republican Congress. Talking about... We don't know. But the Affordable Care Act did do very specific things Dr. Evans. Excuse my voice. Good thing doctors and nurses are in the house. So, they did many things as it relates to the role of nurses. Did it expect more from nurses? I believe since 2010 when the Institute of Medicine put out its landmark publication The Future of Nursing, it called for nurses to practice to the full extent of their education. There's been some changes in movement in that. The VA has recently expanded the role of APN's within their... The Veterans Administration? The Veterans Administration, yes. Has expanded their role. 17 states have done away with collaborative agreements. Whoa! What does that mean? Collaborative agreements. A collaborative agreement is an agreement between a nurse and a physician that allows the nurse to prescribe. It is not a supervisory agreement. It is simply a collaborative agreement where a nurse can contact a physician in their speciality who has agreed to work with them and give them some guidance if needed. So what's happening with that? In New Jersey, we..."