There is a huge amount of uncertainty as to what the health care landscape will look like then. The U.S. Supreme Court decision about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will have a profound effect on all of our lives because PPACA will either survive intact, survive with some changes or be totally scrapped; the point being that in order for any of us to truly know what value any of us health professionals can bring to the table we will have to know what’s missing and what we can do to provide it. In any case, we do know now that health care in the United States today is overpriced, ineffective and in many cases downright dangerous (Institute of Medicine 2012). Thus it seems that no matter how this political conundrum turns out we need to look at reducing wasteful spending, teaching people how to live healthier lives and establish stronger standards for patient safety. The DNP program that I am currently attending at Brandman University is preparing us to examine the bigger picture and foresee how our interventions will impact the lives of our clients, colleagues, their respective communities and our society as a whole.
I selected the DNP program because I believe that I can become more effective as a nurse practitioner with the added skills as a researcher and educator. Additionally, the nursing profession has been and continues to undergo profound changes. There are political forces in the medical communities that continue to undermine our efforts to close the primary care gap in the myriads of undeserved regions of our country. At the same time there are, fortunately, progressive thinkers who believe that enhancing the nursing professions ability to reach its full potential will solve a lot of the health problems that plague our great society. In 2008, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the IOM launched a two-year study to assess and make recommendations for transforming the nursing profession and health care in general. The report of this joint task force basically concluded that we nurses should practice to the full extent of our education and training, achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression, become full partners with physicians and other health care professionals in redesigning health care in the United States and that we need a new data collection and information infrastructure (IOM 2012). This is a profound statement that serves as a wake up call to all of those stakeholders who are recalcitrant in recognizing that nurses, being the largest workforce in the health care industry, are going to have the greatest impact. Therefore, we as future DNP graduates have the daunting responsibility to step up as leaders of our profession, with expertise in scientific methodology, interventions for prevention and education and transform the health care industry to prevent our country’s impending economic collapse and reach a secure future with a healthier, older and wiser population.
Institute of Medicine (2012). Finding What Works In Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews. The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.
Institute of Medicine (2012). The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.