“A nurse who seeks out higher education and becomes knowledgeable about finance, best practices, their hospital’s strategy, succession planning, case management is best suited for ACOs and will invent new roles in the changing health care landscape."
Aurora, Colo. (PRWEB) December 05, 2011
New guidelines for accountable care organizations (ACO) are expected to create expanded opportunities for savvy, career-minded nurses to thrive in the next wave of health care reform, according to one nursing industry leader, Catherine Garner, DrPH, MSN, RN, FAAN, who is dean, health sciences and nursing at American Sentinel University. Nurses can position themselves for success by getting advanced education in case management and leadership.
To help prepare nurses to meet new health care guidelines, American Sentinel University offers a CCNE-accredited online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science Nursing (RN to BSN) degree program. This accredited, fast-track program is ideal for nurses who would like to expand their knowledge base to meet current health care reform initiatives and help strengthen the nursing workforce.
ACOs signal a different kind of health care system, one that requires nurses who are smarter about finance and stewardship of resources, Dr. Garner points out. The nursing industry needs a “new” kind of nurse who thinks differently.
“Nurses will take on even greater roles in health care and will be the pivotal person to provide accountable care and to manage the population’s health,” says Dr. Garner. “In the ACO model, hospital nurses must understand the ‘whole patient’ beyond the hospital walls, and nurses in the community must effectively communicate to keep people out of the emergency rooms.”
Dr. Garner notes that doctors are trained to treat illness and nurses are trained to manage the whole patient and the family, too. She emphasizes the role that education plays in the new nursing paradigm.
“Nurses need to understand the care provided at all levels of the continuum, the maximization of insurance payments, negotiating with medical supply and pharmaceutical companies as well as the support and engagement required of family members,” says Dr. Garner.
American Sentinel’s RN to BSN course curriculum covers a breadth of issues in nursing, health care, leadership and empowerment to give nurses the skills they need to expand their practices to focus on the care of the individual, the family and the community.
The program covers such key topics as case management, developing nurse practice, public health nursing, nursing empowerment and critical thinking - an often overlooked skill that helps students learn how to assess a patient’s and family’s needs and to think critically about the plan of care they prescribe.
“A nurse who seeks out higher education and becomes knowledgeable about finance, best practices, their hospital’s strategy, succession planning, case management and the like is best suited for ACOs and will invent new roles in the changing health care landscape to put themselves in a great position to map out their own career,” says Dr. Garner.
Dr. Garner believes the best way for nurse managers to help their own cause in the new world of health care reform is to know where they want to work and prepare themselves for it. She stresses that all nurses, from the bedside to the executive office, must take ownership of their careers.
“Nurses need to know that hospitals don’t want to lose you and if you are thinking about moving to a different unit or want to specialize, it is important to communicate with your managers about your options,” says Dr. Garner.
She also encourages nurses to network through professional organizations in the community and with classmates and to use the many nursing Web resources in place to share ideas and to help find fulfilling careers.
Learn more about American Sentinel University’s accredited online RN to BSN program at http://www.americansentinel.edu/health-care/rn-to-b-s-nursing or online RN to MSN program at http://www.americansentinel.edu/health-care/rn-to-m-s-nursing.
About American Sentinel University
American Sentinel University delivers the competitive advantages of accredited online degree programs in nursing, informatics, an MBA in health care, and a DNP in executive leadership. Its online, affordable, flexible bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission for the Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The university is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The Accrediting Commission of DETC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
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