Advanced Practice Nursing
March 25, 1997
in response to At the Crossroads: We must Blend the CNS + NP Roles
Lynch (1996) in her article "At the Crossroads" strongly argues the position that it is time to combine the roles of the Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist. Lynch's position in combining the two roles will be beneficial in that it will "Simplify the concept of nurses in the advanced practice role to the consumers and for the practice sites." It will "enhance productivity in the acute care setting, especially important in the era of health care reform and the consolidation of depleting resources," and it will "enable practitioners to follow patients through various settings." It is indeed important that the State Boards of Nursing and the American Nurses' Association support combining these roles.
I agree with Lynch. Quality health care can be given by combining the roles of NP and CNS that is less costly. The wholistic approach by the APN with the emphasis on prevention of disease and health maintenance from birth until death exceeds the medical model in the quality of health care provided to the consumer.
More and more Americans are without health care. The APN can meet the challenge of the future which is to provide comprehensive health care at an affordable cost to all Americans. The APNs can meet this challenge. The time is now.