Title

Free Clinics and the Need for Nursing Action in Uncertain Political Times

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

2-1-2018

Abstract

Free clinics have been a source of health care for uninsured and low-income Americans for half a century and serve some of the nation’s most vulnerable within their home community. Despite parallels to nursing’s significant involvement in the formation of free public clinics and commitment to care for all, there is paucity of nursing literature about free clinics. This article details the history of U.S. free clinics and the intersections among free clinics and value-based care, health reform, and tax reform, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Challenges impacting free clinics are detailed, as well as strategies nurses may employ to support survival of free clinics and enhance service to their target populations. Roles for nurses in free clinic governance, management, and practice are described as well as suggestions for research, education, and public policy.

Publication Title

Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice

Volume

19

Issue

1-2

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