The role of advanced registered nurses is vital in the healthcare system, especially during a time of dynamic changes in legislation and policy. These changes have led to a shift in the roles and scope of practice for advanced registered nurses. Professional nursing organizations play a crucial role in ensuring that the perspectives of these nurses are heard and in supporting their efforts to expand their scope of practice and full participation in the healthcare system. This paper will explore the current scope of practice for advanced registered nurses, as well as the efforts being made to expand their scope and role in positively influencing the healthcare system.
In order to understand the current scope of practice for advanced registered nurses, it is important to first define what it means to be an advanced registered nurse. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), advanced registered nurses are those who have completed graduate-level education and have acquired advanced clinical knowledge and skills. These nurses are prepared to provide direct patient care and to be leaders within their specialty practice (AACN, 2011).
The scope of practice for advanced registered nurses varies depending on their specialty and state of practice. For example, a nurse practitioner has the authority to diagnose and treat patients, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and prescribe medications in many states. On the other hand, a clinical nurse specialist may focus on a specific patient population and provide expert clinical care, consultation, and education (AACN, 2011).
Efforts are being made to expand the scope of practice for advanced registered nurses and to increase their influence within the healthcare system. One way this is being done is through legislation and policy changes. For instance, in many states, there has been a push to grant full practice authority to nurse practitioners, allowing them to practice independently without the need for physician supervision (Kleinpell, 2018). This not only increases access to care for patients but also allows nurse practitioners to utilize their full range of skills and expertise.
Another important aspect of expanding the role of advanced registered nurses is through professional nursing organizations. These organizations provide a platform for advanced registered nurses to advocate for their specialty and to influence policy that affects their scope of practice. One such organization is the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), which represents nurse practitioners and works to promote the role of nurse practitioners in healthcare. The AANP engages in legislative activities, develops clinical practice resources, and provides networking and professional development opportunities for nurse practitioners (AANP, n.d.).
Furthermore, there are ongoing efforts to increase the collaboration and integration of advanced registered nurses within interprofessional healthcare teams. The Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) has emphasized the importance of a team-based approach to healthcare delivery and has recommended that all healthcare providers, including advanced registered nurses, be trained in interprofessional collaborative practice (Institute of Medicine, 2010).
In conclusion, the current scope of practice for advanced registered nurses varies depending on their specialty and state of practice. Efforts are being made to expand the scope of practice for these nurses, including legislative and policy changes, as well as through the work of professional nursing organizations. These efforts aim to increase the influence and integration of advanced registered nurses within the healthcare system, ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes and a more efficient healthcare delivery system.