RN Opportunity to Build an Independent Practice

by Karen Mercereau RN

RN Patient Advocacy: Opportunity to Build an Independent Practice

A common refrain on the floors is “This is not why I went into nursing”. Heavy patient caseloads that leave little time or opportunity for the building of therapeutic relationships or the close supervision of all patients on the team, staff reductions and required overtime, high stress environments all lead to professional frustration, major interruptions in family life, and greatly reduced job satisfaction. Burn out.

Experienced clinical RNs increasingly are looking for other opportunities, ways to earn a living utilizing all their skills and extensive knowledge base. However, the business of medical care does not encourage independence or creativity and the dictates of professional growth are strictly circumscribed within the biomedical model.

One path that is opening the door of opportunity for qualified clinical RNs is independent RN Patient Advocacy.

RN Patient Advocacy: Nursing on the Leading Edge

Professional nursing has always proven itself to be responsive to community and institutional health needs. Public Health nursing transformed community wellness awareness and programs, the models of Team Nursing and Primary Nursing dramatically improved the deliverance of care in the institutional setting, Case Management evolved to facilitate the paradigm shift to managed care, and the Nurse Practitioner model is in the vanguard of clinical programs to fill the national gap in primary care.

The next practice model to emerge as a direct and creative response to the current medical system, in response to the desire for change and opportunity amongst clinical RNs is independent RN Patient Advocacy – the patient centered practice whose central tenets are Advocacy, Education and Guidance through the increasingly fractured and dysfunctional medical system. The extensive skill set of the iRNPA also includes data analysis, research and data mining on the internet, and becoming health detectives.

Building on principles developed in Case Management and Public Health Nursing, RN Patient Advocacy has developed into a robust model of independent practice embracing all major paradigms of medical care, opening wider possibilities of health and healing to communities. Working collaboratively with all sectors and providers of medical care, the work of RN Patient Advocates provides the much-needed continuity of care required by the fractured medical system today, improving outcomes and reducing long-term costs.

First and foremost, the independent RN Patient Advocate (iRNPA) model is proactive about empowering people in their own healthcare – guiding them to develop the knowledge and skills to be active participants in their health and lifestyle choices. Providing the information and guidance to assist people in developing the skills to better navigate the healthcare system, the iRNPA model also encourages people to work as partners with their physicians, confidently asking questions and seeking reliable health information.

In the face of the current high numbers of misdiagnoses, the Patient Advocacy Process © utilized by all RN Patient Advocates ensures the integrity and range of the diagnostic process. This is accomplished through the knowledgeable application of the tools available in the major medical paradigms of Allopathy, Integrative Medicine and Functional Medicine.

To augment the managed care/insurance model of formulaic approaches to disease groupings, the Advocacy Process © researches and teaches the broader range of possible therapeutic approaches available in the major medical paradigms, thus enabling consumers to become better educated and engaged in their own health care choices.

Opportunity Knocks for iRNPAs

Communication is typically disrupted and often flawed in today’s medical system. The RN Patient Advocate Process has created a tool – the MEDiKEY™ – to correct this situation, thereby increasing the flow of accurate information between all providers and reducing the number of medical errors of both commission and omission.

The MEDiKEY™ is an innovative tool that both records and analyzes all medical information in a synoptic chronology available to the consumer as well as to all providers. In today’s hurried medical world, the right information must be in the right format at the right time in front of the right person and absorbable in minutes.

This is the strategy of the MEDiKEY™. It tracks trends, gaps in care, clinically significant outlier events, errors, and relevant chronological medical events. The MEDiKEY™ includes Lab Trends, the visual trending of all relevant lab data.

Physicians and institutions alike have welcomed it as a valuable source of relevant health information.

The MEDiKEY™ is poised to be offered on a national scale with iRNPAs the sole providers, working in concert with a large medical data collection corporation. Skilled iRNPAs, properly prepared for the MEDiKEY development, will earn $100/hour. They will be able to work from home, developing their professional business practice. The National Nurses in Business Association is ideally suited to provide the business training to support your iRNPA practice.

RNPA is a fee for service model. Such a broad range of services requires independence from the restrictive confines of the current insurance model that dominates medical care today.

Karen MercereauKaren Mercereau, RN, iRNPA, is the originator of the RN Patient Advocate model, which continues to evolve, based upon the practices of RN Patient Advocates across the country. This highly qualified corps of RNs all are graduates of the RN Patient Advocate Learning Intensive, presented annually in partnership with the University of Arizona College of Nursing. The next intensive is scheduled for January, 2015, and includes an 8-week online component and a 6-day residential program. To ensure optimal individual learning, class size is limited to 25.  You can contact me at (520) 743-5008 to discuss iRNPA.