The regulation and scope of practice for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) vary by state. In the states of Ohio and Delaware, there are specific requirements and guidelines that APRNs must adhere to regarding their practice and prescription authority.
In Ohio, APRNs are required to practice under a Standard Care Arrangement (SCA) with a physician. This means that they must have a collaborative agreement with a physician or podiatrist when providing direct patient care in a healthcare organization. According to the Ohio Board of Nursing, APRNs in Ohio are allowed to prescribe Schedule II-V controlled substances under the direction of a physician or podiatrist (Ohio Board of Nursing, 2021). They must also prescribe medications according to the Standard Care Arrangement, which is consistent with the APRNs national certification and in compliance with state and federal laws (Ohio Laws & Administrative Rules, 2018). Additionally, APRNs who prescribe medications in Ohio must complete an approved 45-hour course in advanced pharmacology.
On the other hand, Delaware has different regulations regarding APRN practice and prescription authority. In Delaware, an APRN who is approved for independent practice is allowed to practice and prescribe outside the employment of an established healthcare organization, healthcare delivery system, physician, podiatrist, or practice group owned by a physician or podiatrist without a collaborative agreement (Delaware.gov, 2021). To qualify for independent practice, APRNs in Delaware must have at least two years of practice experience and have completed 4,000 hours in their current practice. They must also apply for a full practice authority to practice independently without a collaboration agreement with a podiatrist or physician. In terms of prescription authority, Delaware grants APRNs the ability to prescribe legend medications, including Schedule II-V controlled substances, upon obtaining an initial license (Delaware.gov, 2021).
While there are differences in the collaborative agreement requirements and prescription authority between Ohio and Delaware, both states have certain educational and training requirements for APRNs to maintain their licensure and prescribing privileges. In Delaware, APRNs must complete 80 hours of continuing education and medical education for their licensure renewal every two years. They are also required to obtain a DEA number and complete an approved continuing education prescribing course (Delaware.gov, 2021). Similarly, APRNs in Ohio must fulfill continuing education and training requirements specific to their certification area, in addition to completing the necessary clinical experience hours. Ohio requires APRNs to complete 45 continuing education hours for their licensure renewal (Ohio Board of Nursing, 2021).
It is important for APRNs to understand and adhere to the specific regulations and guidelines set by their respective states in order to practice safely and effectively. Compliance with such regulations ensures that APRNs are practicing within their scope of practice and providing quality care to their patients. By staying up to date with education and training requirements, APRNs can continue to enhance their knowledge and skills, improving their ability to provide optimal care and make informed decisions regarding medication prescribing.
In summary, while APRNs in Ohio must practice under a Standard Care Arrangement with a physician or podiatrist and prescribe medications accordingly, APRNs in Delaware have the opportunity to practice independently without a collaborative agreement once certain experience criteria are met. Both states have requirements for continuing education and training to maintain licensure and prescribing privileges. Understanding and adhering to these regulations is crucial for APRNs to ensure safe and effective care delivery.