NRS 430 Professional Development of Nursing Professionals

NRS 430 Professional Development of Nursing Professionals

NRS 430 Professional Development of Nursing Professionals

People inhabit different socioeconomic backgrounds with varying resources, values, and cultures. These variations prompt considerable health-related differences, including access to care, people’s perception of health, and health promotion activities. Since variations in resources and geographical locations are the primary cause of health disparities, interventions to reduce them should be intensified at the local and national levels. Nurses should also embrace their role as health equity promoters and ensure all populations get the deserved healthcare services. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the significance of health equity in the National Academy of Medicine 2021 report, the impacts of social determinants of health, nurses’ role in equity promotion, and the significance of self-care.

The Significance of Healthy Equity in the National Academy of Medicine 2021 Report

Nurses play a pivotal role in advancing health by combining skills, expertise, and passion. Addressing health inequities to improve people’s health is among the highly stressed nurses’ roles. The National Academy of Medicine 2021 report explores nurses’ work in reducing health disparities and promoting equity into 2030 (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2023). Other focus areas include nurses’ role in cost reduction and technology utilization to achieve the best possible care for patients and populations. To achieve these goals, the current healthcare system should educate, remunerate and employ adequate nurses to remove barriers to care, diversify the workforce, and empower nurses to address health equity issues (Wakefield et al., 2021). As the report underlines, achieving health equity ensures all populations live the healthiest life possible irrespective of where they live, income levels, and race, among other factors. In collaboration with the government and partners, the healthcare system should also prepare the next generation of nurses to promote health equity and ensure all populations receive quality healthcare services. A suitable way of achieving this goal is to revamp nursing education to ensure nurses understand all the social and environmental factors that cause disparities, how to collaborate with colleagues to address health equity issues, and care provision to diverse populations.

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Social Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health (SDOH) significantly influence health outcomes across populations. The Centers for

NRS 430 Professional Development of Nursing Professionals
NRS 430 Professional Development of Nursing Professionals

Disease Control and Prevention (2022) described SDOH as the conditions where people are born, live, and work and other wider systems that shape daily life. Largely, SDOH are the nonmedical factors influencing population health outcomes. They include education, healthcare access and quality, social and community contexts, access to nutritious foods and safe housing. Economic and social policies are among the wider forces impacting people’s health. Regarding their impacts on health equity, access to healthy foods increases health disparities in the affected communities. People’s geographical locations, cultural norms, and income levels affect access to healthy foods. Lack of access to healthy foods implies poor nutrition, increasing the risk of obesity and diabetes (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2023). Life expectancy also reduces in populations with poor access to healthy foods.

Role of the Nurse in Improving Health Equity and Impacting Social Needs

Nurses can use their position and influence to improve health equity and effectively address people’s multidimensional needs. In agreement with Oruche and Zapolski (2020), nurses can reduce health disparities by being increasingly committed to diversity, inclusion and breaking down barriers to health. In this case, they should ensure health resources are fairly distributed according to people’s diverse needs and that all patients are assisted to achieve their full health potential. The other critical nurse’s role is advocacy, which entails protecting patients’ rights and acting as their voice (Nsiah et al., 2019). While serving this role, nurses ensure no one faces discrimination when seeking care and that all patients can comfortably and safely interact with healthcare professionals. Importantly, nurses should partner with political and health stakeholders to advance health in the communities through education, screening, and other health-related activities. Such activities enable people to understand their health and social needs, advocate for them, and seek timely interventions to live healthily and productively.

Significance of Self-Care for Nursing Burnout and Strategies for Personal and Spiritual Health

Nurse burnout is prevalent in current settings and impedes nurses’ ability to provide high-quality care. Practicing self-care is crucial for nurses to reduce stress, increase their energy levels, and be better positioned to provide compassionate care (Kaple, 2023; Nilsson, 2022). Self-care ensures that nurses are optimally physically, mentally, and emotionally. Self-care strategies include regulating shift schedules, avoiding a high workload, building healthy relationships with co-workers, and exercising. Mindfulness and practicing spirituality are also highly recommended for nurses experiencing or at risk of burnout. To maintain personal and spiritual health, nurses should embrace mindfulness, meditative walking, and religious practices, such as prayers and reading religious books (Nilsson, 2022). These interventions provide nurses with the much-needed psychophysical balance and wellness to practice in stressful conditions. They also improve coping, which reduces job dissatisfaction, anxiety, and fatigue.

Conclusion

Nurses work in diverse settings and encounter patients with varying needs. Irrespective of these differences, nurses must strive to provide timely and satisfactory care as professionally mandated. The endeavor to promote health equity should be universal among nurses to ensure all populations can achieve the best possible care. Besides, nurses should practice self-care through meditation, exercises, mindfulness, and spirituality. Self-care enables them to cope with nurse burnout hence high productivity and job satisfaction.

 

 

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Social determinants of health at CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/about/sdoh/index.html#:~:text=Social%20determinants%20of%20health%20(SDOH,the%20conditions%20of%20daily%20life.

Kaple, T. (2023). Top tips for nurses on dealing with burnout. NurseJournal. https://nursejournal.org/resources/tips-for-avoiding-nurse-burnout/

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2023). The future of nursing 2020-2030. https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/the-future-of-nursing-2020-2030

Nilsson, H. (2022). Spiritual self-care management for nursing professionals: A holistic approach. Journal of Holistic Nursing: Official Journal of the American Holistic Nurses’ Association40(1), 64–73. https://doi.org/10.1177/08980101211034341

Nsiah, C., Siakwa, M., & Ninnoni, J. P. K. (2019). Registered Nurses’ description of patient advocacy in the clinical setting. Nursing Open6(3), 1124–1132. https://doi.org/10.1002/nop2.307

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2023). Social determinants of health. https://health.gov/healthypeople/priority-areas/social-determinants-health

Oruche, U. M., & Zapolski, T. C. (2020). The role of nurses in eliminating health disparities and achieving health equity. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services58(12), 2-4. https://doi.org/10.3928/02793695-20201112-01

Wakefield, M., Williams, D. R., & Le Menestrel, S. (2021). The future of nursing 2020-2030: Charting a path to achieve health equity. Nursing Outlook, (70)6, S1-S9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2022.05.013