Improving Access for Northeast Indiana to Quality Healthcare
Fulk, Lauren Michelle
MetadataShow full item record
Session presented on Thursday, September 25, 2014: Improving Access for Northeast Indiana to Quality Healthcare. As the number of individuals requiring healthcare continues to increase, there is a similar need for an increase in easily accessible primary care providers. Fort Wayne and the surrounding areas particularly require increased accessibility to quality healthcare due to a large rural population surrounding the city, multicultural communities within the city, and population growth in suburban areas. Allen County, which contains most of the city of Fort Wayne, has over 100 more people for each primary care provider than the ratio of population to primary care providers for the rest of Indiana. To meet this community need, the role of the nurse practitioner becomes crucial in northeast Indiana. Through this project, several steps will be implemented to increase nursing students knowledge about the role and need for nurse practitioners in this community, including presentations centered on the role of the nurse practitioner in Indiana, shadowing opportunities at several nurse practitioner run clinics, introduction to graduate school content, need, and opportunities at nursing orientation, and curriculum alterations including early and often promotion of the nurse practitioner degree, with the final goal to increase the number of IPFW students enrolled in advanced nursing classes, primarily in pursuit of the nurse practitioner degree. Improving access to quality healthcare in northeast Indiana begins through increasing student awareness and knowledge concerning interprofessional education and the community need for more primary care providers. Student understanding of the diverse roles that nurses and advanced practice nurses have within the healthcare team is imperative to promoting and expanding the role of the nurse practitioner within the Fort Wayne community. Until undergraduate nursing students can display an understanding of the true need for primary care providers in Fort Wayne as well as the accessibility of graduate programs and impact that they may have in the Fort Wayne community if they were to advance their degree, the need will continue to grow for primary care providers in Fort Wayne. Nursing faculty and the impact that they have the ability to make on undergraduate awareness are the most important tools to promoting the nurse practitioner degree in northeast Indiana and bridging the gap in primary care providers and access to quality health care in Fort Wayne.