Advance practice nursing workforce: A key to achieve universal health coverage

-Prof. Pity koul


As we all are aware that the sustainable development goals ( SDGs ) were formulated in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) as part of the Post-2015 Development Agenda to succeed the Millennium Development Goals.(.MDGD). The SDGS were formally adopted in a UNGA resolution called the 2030 Agenda. There are 17 goals with targets, objectives, and indicators to measure progress goal 3 relates to good health and well-being which is linked to other goals also. Universal Health coverage is one of the strategies to achieve the health goal and targets To achieve universal health coverage Govt of India has targeted to upgrade all existing subcentres into Health and wellness centers and train all nurses and Ayurveda practitioners to work as community Health officers / Midlevel. health care providers in these Health and wellness centers as a part of the Ayushman Bharat scheme Nursing professionals have the potential and capability to influence positively the accessible, sustainable and resilient healthcare system to achieve universal. health coverage Accessibility to the health care system in general and health care professionals, in particular, is crucial to identify, prevent treat and manage health care conditions of clients In this context, appropriately trained nurses at the advanced practice level have the potential to improve access to safe and affordable care. However, there are challenges which confront the development of an advanced nursing practice workforce You may agree that policy provisions and political will can achieve the goal and overcome the challenges Let us see what are the challenges and how we can overcome these challanges as given below

1)Inappropriate policies and funding models to support the development of advanced practice nursing workforce

2)Resistance from other health and allied professionals

3)Lack of public awareness and understanding of roles and responsibilities of a nurse in general and in the capacity of advanced practice nursing professional

4)Diversity of educational and professional standards
Let us see what simple strategies need to be adopted to facilitate the development of advanced practice nursing professionals to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals

● There is a need to update policies and funding for supporting new and effective models of nursing care.Also the adoption of policies and funding strategies which facilitate and stimulate the growth in advanced practice nursing
● Investment in nursing as a global call and as a result of the experience of success stories of nurse’s roles during covid 19
● Devise means that lead to effective leadership and political will that can foster and enable effective and sustainable change in practice.
This can be done by developing and adopting workforce plans and strategies that facilitates Advanced practice transitions

● Educate masses and other health care professionals regarding the roles and responsibilities of nurses in general and advanced practice nursing professionals In particular by evidence
● In addition. inclusion of nursing professionals in the formulation of policies and strategies for nursing manpower planning

● Adoption of uniform and common standards of education practice and care to promote consistency and continuity of advanced practice which may include implementation of additional degree at the Masters level and credentialing advanced practice
● On the whole there is a need to join hands to address challenges and barriers to effective delivery of health care to achieve sustainable development goals a 2030 health agenda

[The author is Professor and Dean, Faculty of Nursing, SGT University]

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