Discussion: Healthcare Disparities Essay

Discussion: Healthcare Disparities Essay

Discussion: Healthcare Disparities

Every individual needs to be healthy and enjoy the benefits of health outcomes. However, various factors related to health usually impact and dictate the population’s health. For instance, social determinants of health and health disparities have been shown to hugely impact the health of individuals (Schillinger, 2020). Nurse practitioners have a critical to play in changing the impact of healthcare disparities on health outcomes by utilizing various strategies in nursing practice to influence the equity in healthcare.


Health inequalities or disparities lead to poor health outcomes; therefore, they need to be addressed by negating their impacts or possibly eliminating them. In changing the impact of health disparities, nurse practitioners have various roles to play. One such role is to advocate for patients (Buttaro, 2021). Nurse practitioners can advocate for cultural-competence training in the care setting, distress screening, interpreters, appropriate resources, and advocating for patient rights. The implication is that a nurse practitioner has to be knowledgeable enough and be able to recognize or create opportunities for patient advocacy (Hubinette, 2017). Nurse practitioners can also focus more on caring for patients. Such an act of care enables the patients to heal within the context of their community, workplace, family, prevailing social circumstances, opportunities, and within their abilities.

Nurse practitioners can apply various strategies to influence equity of care, as the more the equity, the less the health disparity. One way is partnering with community organizations (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2019). Various community organizations focus on improving the health outcomes of their members. Partnering with these organizations can help improve the number of people who go for health insurance, which can effectively improve equity. The collaborations can also be key in securing funding for improving various health programs to promote health outcomes and influence the equity of care. Again, the nurse practitioner can engage in patient advocacy to influence the equity of care.


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Buttaro (2021) Primary Care: Interprofessional Collaborative Approach – Chapter 5 (An Introduction to Health Care Disparities & Culturally Responsive Primary Care.

Hubinette, M., Dobson, S., Scott, I., & Sherbino, J. (2017). Health advocacy. Medical Teacher39(2), 128-135. https://doi.org/10.1080/0142159X.2017.1245853

Schillinger, D. (2020). The intersections between social determinants of health, health literacy, and health disparities. Studies in health technology and informatics269, 22. https://dx.doi.org/10.3233%2FSHTI200020.

Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2019). Public health nursing e-book: Population-centered health care in the community. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Discussion Topic: Discussion Topic #1: Healthcare DisparitiesDiscussion Topic #1: Healthcare Disparities

“For the purposes of this report, health disparities are differences that exist among specific population groups in the United States in the attainment of full health potential that can be measured by differences in incidence, prevalence, mortality, burden of disease, and other adverse health conditions” (NIH).

While the term disparities is often used or interpreted to reflect differences between racial or ethnic groups, disparities can exist across many other dimensions as well, such as gender, sexual orientation, age, disability status, socioeconomic status, and geographic location.

A complex and interrelated set of individual, provider, health system, societal, and environmental factors contribute to disparities in health and health care.

There is a wealth of information regarding healthcare disparities in the US and globally, (below is just a sampling).

In this discussion, and in light of the first discussion board, expanding scope of practice and removing practice barriers, consider the role that nurse practitioners can have in changing the impact of healthcare disparities on health outcomes. If NP’s have a pivotal role in changing the landscape of primary care, what strategies could you employ in practice to influence equity in health care.

Buttaro (2021) Primary Care: Interprofessional Collaborative Approach – Chapter 5 (An Introduction to Health Care Disparities & Culturally Responsive Primary Care

Healthy People.2020: Disparities

Why Nurse Practitioners Are Pivotal in Health Equity Work

Racial Disparities in Health Care

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health

Health Inequalities in Old Age

Persons With Disabilities as an Unrecognized Health Disparity Population



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