As a Registered Nurse since 1998, I have seen many changes among patient populations. They are getting older, sicker, and resistant pathogens have become more common, extensive, and profound. Not just restricted to heavy use of antibiotics, but environmental pollution with extensive biocides and heavy metals also created resistant pathogens (Singer, 2019).
Environmental pollution poses many dangers to human health, which my potential future role as a nurse practitioner (NP) would serve to research trends, educate, and treat public maladies. Healthcare has become more technological and economically challenging, with the unfortunate complication of making primary care too expensive and unobtainable among populations, including the working poor and working middle class. Medications have become very complex; life-sustaining drugs are subsequently exorbitantly expensive. For example, insulin underuse leading to serious disease complications was one in four, especially in urban areas due to lack of affordability (Bhatia, Chang, & Bilal, 2019). Human populations with such profound needs, including issues with resistant organisms, can be potentially met as an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse (GPCN) with research, education, and affordable medical management; credentialing is essential to get issues across for underserved and ignored populations. Walden University School of Nursing (SON) integrates the nursing process with cost-effective treatment strategies (2019a).
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Networking and accessing resources are essential for the GPCN role. This personal mission and vision are in alliance with Walden University’s goal and values, including student-centeredness, quality, and integrity; such opportunities would enable me to achieve such credentialing as GPCN, providing convenient educational opportunities accommodating my work schedule (Walden University, 2019). Walden University further enriches the spirit of evidence-based research, discovery, and critical thinking, effecting social changes improving living conditions for individuals, communities, and society (2019). Walden University’s SON has similar objectives, lending opportunities for specialist nurse practice enabling social change (2019a). As a GPCN, we are professionals that utilize the nursing process integrating assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementing, and evaluation of healthcare strategies enabling access to healthcare to even the socioeconomic disadvantaged (Walden University, 2019a). For example, there are approximately 12 million undocumented immigrants (Beck, Le, Henry-Ikafor, & Shah, 2019). Consider the spread of tuberculosis among the impoverished, being a disease of poverty, the undocumented encounter barriers such as fear of deportation and cost in which the GPCN can bring access to these populations, thereby preventing the spread of disease, and delivering treatment to the afflicted by fostering trust (Beck et al., 2019). Making medical access more affordable for underserved communities would include technology such as mastering telehealth, which is another avenue for the GPCN, but there is legal baggage with this as well (Balestra, 2018).
Treating a single individual would also address population health; what affects one would affect others.