The Impact of ObamaCare on Nursing
A Q&A with Four-D College Founder, Linda L. Smith
“America’s nurses are the beating heart of our medical system. In moments where people are most vulnerable, most worried, nurses are there.”
—President Barack Obama
Even before Congress voted President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) into law and the Supreme Court ruled in favor of it, many have debated about its value, validity, need and constitutionality. People have had explosive conversations about who it impacts and how, whether affordable healthcare is a privilege or a right and how much it really costs. Even within the healthcare profession there have been heated debates.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are an estimated 49.9 million uninsured Americans, who will be coming into the healthcare system under PPACA.
For many it’s simple: the more patients, the more need for medical professionals. But are things really that simple and how will nurses fare? Will LVNs get lost in the shuffle? Will nurse practitioners become the new ObamaCare doctors?
We asked Linda L. Smith, President of Four-D College, some of these pressing questions and below are her responses.
Do you think “ObamaCare” will lead to a nursing shortage?
Linda Smith: Absolutely not. I think there will always be a demand for nurses and there will always be people seeking to enter the healthcare field, especially nursing. If you look around you’ll notice that even during tough economic times, hospitals are building and expanding their facilities. As hospitals expand their bed capacity and new hospitals are established, the nursing staffing needs will grow. Likewise, I think the number of students wanting to become nurses will increase. Nurses are a necessary commodity in the healthcare system. There will always be a need for nurses to fulfill the services of their scope of practice.
Will ObamaCare really reform healthcare, in your opinion?
Linda Smith: I’m not sure if it will totally reform healthcare, but I believe that every person should have affordable healthcare. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out but I believe patients (those in need of care that have been unable to obtain previously) will certainly benefit. And nurses will be instrumental to helping to provide that care. As such, Four-D College will continue on our mission to strive for excellence and quality as it relates to our curriculum and teaching methods.
Will the role of nurses change under ObamaCare? If so, how?
Linda Smith: The only role I foresee changing is that of nurse practitioners. With the influx of patients, I believe they will be required to step up and in some cases fulfill some of the physicians’ responsibilities.
Will LVNs get lost in the healthcare reform shuffle?
Linda Smith: No, I don’t believe LVNs will get lost in the shuffle. They will likely become even more valuable as healthcare professionals. LVNs are often the ones providing holistic care, taking care of the needs of the patients and loved ones as well. With more patients now eligible for care, there is a need for more caring and compassionate nurses. At Four-D College we pride ourselves on preparing and developing skilled nurses who exhibit the caring and nurturing nature a good nurse should have.
“Obamacare” continues to be debated and discussed, but 4D-College founder foresees a positive impact. Everyone will have to wait and see. What are your thoughts about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aka “ObamaCare”?