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Learning Center Experience
By Laura Shenkman, FNP-C, APRN, MSN
Nurse Practitioner Program Lead, Kaplan University School of Nursing
nursing is emerging as an important component of the health care crisis
solution. It is a set of competencies for all nurses to utilize. Telehealth nursing
holds the promise to significantly impact some of the most challenging problems
of our current health care system: access to care, cost effective delivery, and
distribution of limited providers.
Telehealth nursing is defined as “the use of
telehealth/telemedicine technology to deliver nursing care and conduct nursing
practice.” Most of us are already doing this when we talk to our patients over
the phone, but with technological advancement we now have other ways to
interact and care for our patients remotely through a variety of applications and services such as two-way
video, email, smartphones, wireless tools, and other forms of
Sometimes telemedicine nursing is best
understood in terms of the services provided and the mechanisms used to provide
those services. Here are some examples:
Telemedicine has been growing rapidly
because it offers four fundamental benefits:
Interested in learning more? Click here for an informative video that shows a telehealth scenario. This video outlines one ways a teleconsult might be conducted.
Nursing certification in telehealth is
not required at this time; however, telehealth nursing may require an
additional licensure to practice across state lines and must meet standard of
care and nurses only provide care within their scope of practice.
In a non-federal setting, telehealth
nurses must have a registered nurse license that complies with both state and
federal regulations. In the United states the nurse licensure compact(NCL)
allows registered nurses to practice across compact member’s state lines.
Telehmedicine is also being utilized in the non-profit
arena. PATH is a non-profit organization
focused on applying innovative technologies, such as telemedicine, to improve
access to health care in a rural North Carolina community. Founded in 2012, PATH
was established to improve academic outcomes by ensuring students are healthy
and ready to learn. I’ve had the opportunity to work for PATH, heading up this
initiative as a provider delivering primary care to 3 school-based health
centers. Their telemedicine program now supports these school-based sites,
providing health care access for more than 2,000 potential patients.
PATH is working to achieve their goal of improving access to
care and academic outcomes, addressing certain challenges:
PATH’s other accomplishments include:
There is no denying that
many changes must be made in the health care delivery system in order to meet
the needs of all people and improve the health of our nation. Because of
advances in technology over the past 2 decades, telehealth has greatly improved
patient access to health care and equipped providers with innovative tools to provide
quality health care to a larger population. The health care climate demands an
innovative approach to health care delivery with an attention to scalable and
sustainable models. Telehealth, and the use of nurse practitioners and
registered nurses, will be an integral part of these new models.
(2012) American Telemedicine Association (ATA). What is telemedicine.
(2012) American Telemedicine Association (ATA). Telehealth Nursing Special Interest Group.
(2012) American Telemedicine Association (ATA). Telerehabilitation Special InterestGroup.
(2016) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Telehealth.
(2012) American Telemedicine Association (ATA). State Telemedicine Gaps Analysis.
(2012) American Telemedicine Association (ATA). Telehealth nursing fact sheet.
Telemedicine and e-Health Editors-in-Chief: Ronald C. Merrell, MD and Charles R. Doarn, MBAISSN: 1530-5627 • Online ISSN: 1556-3669 • Published Monthly
Laura Shenkman FNP-C, APRN,MSN, is a program lead at Kaplan
University. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author
and do not represent the view of Kaplan University.
Opportunities for Nurses Expand in New Era of Health Care
Moving Up in Your Nursing Career
Did you find this article interesting? If so, share it!
And if you are considering pursuing a nursing degree, we invite you to find out more about Kaplan University's School of Nursing and explore our undergraduate and graduate degree offerings.
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