New Jersey and New York Educators Help Future Nurses Understand Healthcare Reform

Nursing schools are refining course content to prepare future nurses for healthcare reform - read article at

by Kathleen McKeever | October 15, 2013

Tags: education, practice, new-jersey, new-york

Danielle Sullivan

As a nursing student, I found this article to be very interesting. Patients look to their nurses and physicians for guidance and information regarding the options they have in health care. Nurses need to be knowledgeable regarding the health care reform in order to effectively help their patients. I think giving nursing students the opportunity to learn about different aspects of the ACA is amazing! Not only are the students learning about the reform, but they are given situations where they can apply their knowledge to solve problems, which will help them in real life situations. I think it sometimes can be hard for students to apply their knowledge in the clinical area (and make that connection between the textbook and clinical) if they have not had much experience in the clinical setting, but preparing students by this method is a great idea and will result in nurses who are able to effectively work with the health care reform.
Posted on: November 10, 2013, 3:05 pm

Crystal Carroll

I, like Danielle, am a nursing student, currently in my 3rd semester of an ABSN program. I have worked as a tech on a busy telemetry/med surg unit for 3 years. During those 3 years, I have had many patients ask me how the Affordable Care Act is going to affect not only their insurance coverage, but where they will be able to find care, as well as how it will impact them financially. At that time, I did not have any answers regarding ACA, insurance companies and their coverage, or how charity care worked. Now I am currently enrolled in a policy class where I’m learning how the Affordable Care Act will influence my patients and I will now be better able to answer their questions. Nurses need to have a well-rounded knowledge base; from clinical skills to pathology, and from ethics to legalities, and now this will include insurance coverage. This knowledge will help us educate our clients about their financial options and will lessen their fear and anxiety regarding their health care. Soon every patient will have health insurance. As a new grad caring for a new population of insured patients, we need to understand how this will affect their care. More people who previously avoided health care due to lack of insurance will now be able to take charge of their health and will be searching for care. This will create a higher census for our organizations, and can possibly assist with some of the debt accumulated and create more jobs-or create more problems, depending on your view point of the new plan. Either way, it is important to understand how this will be affecting our careers and will help us become better advocates for our patients.
Posted on: March 18, 2014, 3:43 pm

Natalia Danelyants

Even though the curriculum at Rutgers University School of Nursing has changed much with the introduction of ACA, I feel that there has been a change in a course materials. In my 3rd semester I am taking Policy and Politics class, where we have to take a really good look at the current state of affairs regarding the role of the Nurse in shaping the policies and changing the future of patient care. ACA was one of the topics we have covered that, I believe, has such a huge impact on the nursing role in healthcare. With patients that were previously uninsured, and now have access to healthcare, there is a lag of knowledge regarding the new regulations, as ACA is still very much in its beginning stages. The nurse in this situation is the one who is likely to be questioned first by the patients about the structure and resources available to them, and we have to be ready with all the answers, as well as be prepared to advocate for the patient. At this point I think it is very important for all nurses to catch up on the knowledge of different kinds of insurance coverage and help the patients better understand their options, as well as how to cope with financial responsibilities. Nurses now have ever increasing functions included in their role as a patient advocate, and ACA implementation is definitely adding yet another function. I feel that nursing education needs to better address these new changes in healthcare policies by updating the curriculums across the schools, depending on the state.
Posted on: April 8, 2014, 10:52 pm

Angela Teixeira

I think it is wonderful that nursing students are learning about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act because it directly affects their work situation and provides a platform to advocate for their future patients. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is used to help Americans better manage their healthcare and make it more affordable (US department of Health and Human Services, 2014) The ACA helps to improve care; implement activities such as effective case management, medication and care compliance (Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act, § 2010). As nurses it is important that we know this act, not only for our patients, but for ourselves too. As this law relates to nursing students, Title V, Section 847 states that some eligible students may get loan repayment and scholarships through the ADA in an effort to increase the amount of qualified nurses (Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act, §847, 2010). Under section 5208 there is an initiative to fund nurse-managed health clinics (Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act, § 5208, 2010). Under this section it states that a nurse managed health clinic is arranged by a nurse practitioner that provides care and wellness to underserved people (Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act, § 5208, 2010). The ACA has made it possible to provide preventative measures and wellness initiatives. Section 2713 of the Affordable Care Act states that health insurance coverage should cover and not require cost sharing for preventative measures such as evidence based items rated as “A” or “B” by the US preventive Service Task Force, immunizations from the recommended advisory board of the CDC, and screening and preventative care for infants, children, adolescence, and woman from the Health Resources and Services Administration guidelines (Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act, §2713, 2010). Basic health programs are in place to help provide for low income families ineligible for Medicaid in which the state may enter to offer 1 or more standard health plans providing at least the standard benefits under section 1302 instead of offering coverage through an exchange (Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act, §1331, 2010). The standard benefits under section 1302 are essential health benefits required for any healthcare plan that provides benefits defined by the secretary (Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act, §1302, 2010). These benefits must at a minimum include ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospital services, maternity/newborn care, mental health/addiction services, prescription drugs, rehabilitation and rehab devices, laboratory services, preventative/wellness services/chronic case management, and pediatric services (oral and vision) (Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act, §1302, 2010). Also under section 1302 it states that health insurance companies must make sure there is no discrimination when it comes to healthcare needs and healthcare benefits (Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act, §1302, 2010). They must not deny benefits and care due to age, expected length of life, disability, medical dependency, or quality of life (Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act, §1302, 2010). This is a very small glimpse into the Affordable Care Act. It is important as nursing students, and current nurses, that we learn about this Act so we can advocate for our patients. Since this Act is put in place for all Americans not only can it be used to positively affect our patient’s lives but also ours and our loved ones. References: Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act of 2010. 42 U.S.C. §2717 (2010). Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act of 2010. 42 U.S.C. §847 (2010). Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act of 2010. 42 U.S.C. §5208 (2010). Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act of 2010. 42 U.S.C. §5208 (2010). Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act of 2010. 42 U.S.C. §2713 (2010). Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act of 2010. 42 U.S.C. §2716 (2010). Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act of 2010. 42 U.S.C. §1331 (2010). Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act of 2010. 42 U.S.C. §1302 (2010). US department of Health and Human Services. (2014). About the Law. Retrieved on July 3rd 2014 from
Posted on: July 7, 2014, 11:10 am

Nancy Costa

I am a nursing student, currently in my third semester at the Rutgers ABSN program and I believe it is great that programs are incorporating information on new policies and reforms such as the Affordable Care Act. Nursing students that will eventually become RNs will be able to not only advocate for their patients, but also educate them on these new policies. Nurses are the front line caregivers and patients often come to nurses with questions about their care and insurance coverage. According to the article, Educators help future nurses understand healthcare reform, Gutterman states, “We nurses have to advise patients how to access insurance and how to differentiate”, and at my current job I see this happen on a day to day basis (Frellick, 2013). I currently work as a surgical assistant to a Moh’s surgeon and a large amount of our patients are over the age of 65 with Medicare. These patients often come to the nurses with questions about the Affordable Care Act as many of their insurance coverage are changing. I believe it is important for nurses should be able to educate patients with the most up to date information on reform, as we are known to be the most trusted profession. Another great point that the article brings up is the impact that NPs will have due to the ACA. The main goal of the ACA is ensure that every American has health insurance coverage (ANA, 2012). With more Americans being insured there has been an increase need for NPs to be able to close the gap in providing healthcare. The article brings up a good point in that NPs are often limited in the type of care they can provide based on the state in which they practice. The many scope of practice laws define and govern practice and prescriptive authority that can keep NPs from providing comprehensive primary care services to patients. For example, some NP practice regulations require physician oversight in clinics (Mason, Leavitt & Chaffee, 2014). It is important for schools to make limitations known to enrolling students in NP programs. It is also important for schools to be up to date with new policies and educate their students on the current scope of practice so that when they go out into the real world, they are able to better deliver healthcare. Frellick, M. (2013, October 13). Educators help future nurses understand healthcare reform. News. Retrieved June 30, 2015, from Mason, D., Leavitt, J. & Chaffee, M. (2014). Policy & politics in nursing and health care. St. Louis, MO: Saunders, Elsevier Inc. State Health Insurance Exchanges The critical role of nurses & nursing. (2012). ANA. Retrieved June 30, 2015, from
Posted on: June 30, 2015, 6:04 pm


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