The role of professional nurses in the United States and in the international scene in terms of evidence-based healthcare is mostly focused on providing coordination and development services that will be used in the delivery of patient healthcare. Professional nursing practices that are focused on evidence-based healthcare ensure that patients receive the best diagnosis and treatment for their health complications. The role of professional nurses in evidence based nursing practices is to apply theory-derived research in making healthcare decisions that take into consideration the individual patient’s needs and preferences that are necessary in healthcare delivery (Masters, 2005).
The role of professional nursing in policy development involves promoting important policies that will be used in supporting healthcare delivery services for both inpatient and outpatient individuals. Professional nurses have the ability to promote healthcare reform policies because of their interaction with patients who seek treatment for their various ailments. Nurses also have the ability to influence the public opinion on improving healthcare delivery as well as getting media exposure and support in conducting healthcare reforms. Professional nurses also have the role of being conveners when it comes to presenting patient and health worker issues to the upper level managers of health care facilities. They also provide a link between patients and doctors, physicians and upper management in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities (Medscape, 2002).
Since policy development efforts require the compilation of new research as well as the continuous updating of medical information, professional nurses can be able to develop research information that can be used in updating medical research and information that is important in treating patients. This research work can also be used in the monitoring activities for healthcare policy development and implementation activities. Their role in policy development might also see them acting as spokespeople for government agencies as well as public groups that are concerned with healthcare reforms (Medscape, 2002).
The role of nursing professionals in the field of professional advocacy requires them to push for accountability on the part of doctors, government agencies, physicians and managers in healthcare facilities. Their role in professional advocacy also involves defining the nursing profession by determining the nursing practices that are needed by professionals in the nursing field. Nurses involved in professional advocacy also deal with ethical and moral issues that might arise in the course of performing their duties such as in treating patients (Marquis & Huston, 2009).
There has been a series of global nursing shortages in the world which have been attributed to an ageing registered nursing workforce and a limited supply of nursing professionals to occupy the various nursing positions that arise in various medical facilities. The United States is facing a shortage of registered nurses (RN) who are meant to form the largest group of healthcare professionals in the country as well as in the rest of the world where the registered nurses in the current workforce are in the middle age bracket. This has adversely impacted on the available nursing educators where many of the registered nurses have chosen to retire or leave the nursing profession (Goodin, 2003).
The declining enrolment in nursing programs and the changing work climate in many healthcare facilities have also contributed in part to the nursing shortage that is being experienced in the world. The impact of the global nursing shortage to the healthcare systems around the world would affect the quality of healthcare services that are being offered by many hospitals and clinics which might in turn have adverse and devastating patient outcomes. The impact of the global nursing shortage would also affect nursing educator programs within clinical settings meaning that nursing graduates would lack the proper clinical experience in taking care of patients. This would affect their nursing and leadership skills that would be important in making proper patient treatment decisions in the event there is no physician present. There would also be job dissatisfaction, poor worker morale and nurse burnout as a result of the increasing workload that the limited numbers of nurses have to deal with as a result of the shortages (Goodin, 2003).
The nursing knowledge and leadership skills that are needed in managing cultural diversity in the workplace include cross-cultural communication skills and knowledge where nursing educators are equipped with the skills to communicate with nursing students from different cultural backgrounds. Another skill that is needed in managing workplace diversity is cultural competency where nursing professionals and educators are equipped with the knowledge and awareness to manage workplace diversity in the healthcare workplace. Cultural competency is important as it allows nursing professionals to design their training programs to suit nursing students who are from different cultural backgrounds (Bednarz et al., 2010).
The impact of the global nursing shortage will affect the education of future nurses in the healthcare industry, as it will determine whether they are ready to take on clinical matters and situations in the absence of a doctor or physician. The low number of registered nurses in the global workforce will also affect the future of nursing education, as there will be no registered nurses available to train nursing students during their clinical training programs. The impact of the global nursing shortage will also affect the regulation and practice standards that are used in the provision of healthcare services, as there will be fewer nurses to be held accountable for poor healthcare delivery. This will create a situation where patients receive substandard healthcare that might create adverse outcomes which might prove to be disastrous in the end. The few nurses will also be unable to perform professional advocacy and policy development activities given their increased workload (Goodin, 2003).
Nurses who receive higher education in their professions will have a positive effect on the future of the nursing profession as well as in the globalization healthcare services as they will be able to take part in policy development and implementation activities that are important in healthcare reform activities. Nurses who have attained a Masters level of training in the field of nursing will be able to impact on the global healthcare industry by performing evidence-based healthcare on their patients without any assistance from doctors or physicians. Masters training in nursing would also ensure that nursing practices have been harmonized the world over thereby ensuring that healthcare services are the same the world over (Baumann & Blythe, 2008).
Baumann, A., & Blythe, J., (2008). Globalization of higher education in nursing. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Vol.13, No.2.
Bednarz, H., Schim, S., & Doorenbos, A., (2010). Cultural diversity in nursing education: perils, pitfalls and pearls. Journal of Nursing Education, Vol.49, No.5, pp 253-260.
Goodin, H.J., (2003). The nursing shortage in the United States of America: an integrative review of the literature. Journal of Advanced Nursing, Vol.43, No.4, pp 335-350
Marquis, B.L., & Huston, C.J., (2009). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: theory and application. Philadelphia, US: Wolters Kluwer Health
Masters, K., (2005). Role development in professional nursing practice. Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers
Medscape (2002). Leadership role for nursing: engaging the new world. Web.