How the ACA Affects Nurses
How the ACA Affects Nurses
by Mackenzie Thompson
Life Saver, NHCPS
posted on Feb 6, 2017, at 1:17 pm
THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA) has helped millions of people obtain health coverage, and the number of total enrollees is only going to increase. While you may be covered under employer health insurance plans, you should consider how the ACA will impact your career as a nurse.
Demand For Registered Nurses Surges
The nursing shortage has been around for more than a decade, but the ACA has spurred an even greater demand. In fact, the profession will grow 16 percent by 2024, much faster than other industries, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Meanwhile, average pay projections for registered nurses (RNs) have increased steadily since the passage of the ACA. In other words, the ACA will boost your financial standing and opportunities as a nurse.
Nurse-to-Patient Ratios May Change.
More people with health coverage inherently means more people will be seeing care providers when sick or managing chronic conditions. This will cause an added strain on existing health care facilities, including hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers and more. Consequently, short-term patient-to-nurse ratios may increase as more people seek care.
Your Role in Educating Patients Will Become More Important.
Previously uninsured people with long-term health conditions may not have seen a care provider regularly. They may not understand how to care for their health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. Thus, nurses will spend extra time explaining to new patients how to manage these health conditions at home, including proper dieting, medication adherence and daily glucometer checks.
Higher-Learning Opportunities For Nurses Will Become More Affordable.
The ACA is pouring money into America’s overall health care system, including educational institutions. Since the demand on today’s health care resources will increase, the funding needed to teach and train new nursing students must also increase. Furthermore, $30 million have been pumped into the Advanced Nursing Education Expansion Program, explains Nurse Together, providing greater access to nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife programs. This means you may be able to get additional help paying for continuing education courses and advancing your career.
The ACA Is Going to Boost Your Career.
There are plenty of horror stories involving politics and the so-called “killer burden of the ACA.” However, the ACA’s goal of making more people healthier through preventative and maintenance care should not make you worry. Instead, you have the chance to be the first person to give a middle-aged adult, a poor child or ailing college student the opportunity to access health care. It might be stressful at first, but you get to make a difference in another’s life.