The role of the Nurse Practitioner has been changing slowly over time due to the increasing demand for the NP in the medical work setting. This increase in demand now has nurse practitioners facing many new challenges. The need for a more flexible and progressive approach to a nurse practitioner’s delivery of care is a fundamental challenge. Much of the work traditionally carried out by general practitioners will need to be delegated to properly trained personnel such as nurse practitioners. This means that the ability to work with the medical profession and with other healthcare professionals is most important to the leadership challenges facing nurse practitioners. This is particularly important in poorer communities where access to a general physician is limited. Nurse practitioners in these settings will be relied on in such areas as providing medical advice, assessing illnesses and injuries, screening and categorizing patients, monitoring and care for patients with chronic illnesses, prescribing and interpreting diagnostic tests, health promotion and education, nutritional advice, breast and cervical screening…etc. There are also challenges with prescriptive authority and the barriers that are created when a practitioner does not have that ability. Nurse practitioners need to be given broad prescriptive authority to really address the cost of health care in the United States. As nurse practitioner programs spread across the country and more nurse practitioners become involved in all areas of the medical profession, there is growing demand to modify nurse practitioner programs to quell physician concerns and allow nurse practitioners to take on more responsibilities. There are many resources that can be used to help the practitioner deal with these challenges.
As the demand continues to increase for Nurse Practitioners they will have many job options to consider as they seek the best practice opportunity for them. Nurse practitioners are committed to excellence in meeting and exceeding a quality standard of care. Throughout the world, nurse practitioners are being accepted and respected as essential healthcare providers. The issue is the lack of acceptance and recognition by medical professional associations and legislative bodies. Since health promotion and disease prevention have become a concern throughout the world, in the coming years, nurse practitioners are going to be recognized as a valuable and essential asset for the entire medical community.