Expanding clinical roles for nurses to realign the global health workforce with population needs: a commentary

TitleExpanding clinical roles for nurses to realign the global health workforce with population needs: a commentary
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsMaier, Claudia B., and Linda H. Aiken
JournalIsrael Journal of Health Policy Research
Volume5
Pagination21
Type of Articlejournal article
ISBN Number2045-4015
Accession NumberPMID: 27280014
AbstractMany countries, including Israel, face health workforce challenges to meet the needs of their citizens, as chronic conditions increase. Provider shortages and geographical maldistribution are common. Increasing the contribution of nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nursing roles through task-shifting and expansion of scope-of-practice can improve access to care and result in greater workforce efficiency. Israel and many other countries are introducing reforms to expand nurses’ scope-of-practice. Recent international research offers three policy lessons for how countries just beginning to implement reforms could bypass policy barriers to implementation. First, there is substantial evidence on the equivalence in quality of care, patient safety and high consumer acceptance which should move policy debates from if to how to effectively implement new roles in practice. Second, regulatory and finance policies as well as accessible advanced education are essential to facilitate realignment of roles. Third, country experience suggests that advanced practice roles for nurses improve the attractiveness of nursing as a career thus contributing to solving nursing shortages rather than exacerbating them. Designing enabling policy environments and removing barriers will gain in relevance in the future as the demand for high-quality, patient-centered care is increasing.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13584-016-0079-2
PMCIDPMCID: PMC4897947