The topic of nursing boards and their role in establishing guidelines for the scope of nursing practice is an important issue in the field of advanced practice nursing. In response to my colleague’s post, I would like to offer further insights and a possible resolution to their concerns.
Firstly, it is crucial for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to be familiar with their own state board’s regulations as it pertains to their practice. This includes understanding the requirements for maintaining a collaborative practice agreement with a physician, such as in the cases of Missouri and Illinois. By being knowledgeable about these regulations, APRNs can ensure that they are practicing within the legal boundaries and providing the best care possible.
However, it is also important to advocate for the expansion of the nurse practitioner’s ability to practice independently. Research by Bosse et al. (2017) highlights the potential benefits of APRNs practicing independently, particularly in addressing the gap in access to care associated with physician shortages and remote locations. By advocating for independent practice, APRNs can contribute to improving outcomes, reducing healthcare costs, and minimizing complications.
To support this advocacy, APRNs can utilize the recommendations of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), which encourages them to advocate for independent practice in their states (Bosse et al., 2017). The NCSBN is a reputable organization that provides evidence-based guidance and resources to nursing regulatory boards across the country. By referencing the NCSBN’s recommendations, APRNs can present a strong case for the expansion of their practice authority.
Another aspect of nursing board regulations that needs to be addressed is the use of technology in healthcare. In today’s increasingly technology-driven world, the use of telehealth has the potential to significantly improve access to healthcare, particularly in rural areas. In Missouri, for example, APRNs are permitted to practice virtually if the care is being provided to patients in remote areas (Utilization of telehealth, 2014). Similarly, Illinois permits APRNs to treat residents of the state via telehealth without geographical stipulations (Telehealth Act, 2018).
To further support the integration of telehealth into nursing board regulations, APRNs can reference research and evidence showcasing the effectiveness and benefits of telehealth. Studies have demonstrated that telehealth can improve access to care, increase patient satisfaction, and reduce healthcare costs (Bashshur et al., 2016; Dorsey et al., 2017). By presenting these findings, APRNs can emphasize the importance of incorporating telehealth provisions into nursing board regulations, thereby expanding their ability to provide care to underserved populations.
In conclusion, the issue of nursing board regulations and their impact on the scope of advanced practice nursing is multifaceted. To address concerns regarding collaborative practice agreements and access to care, it is important for APRNs to be knowledgeable about their state board regulations while also advocating for the expansion of their practice authority. Additionally, the integration of telehealth into nursing board regulations can significantly improve access to healthcare, especially in rural areas. By using evidence-based research and referencing reputable organizations like the NCSBN, APRNs can make a compelling case for the integration of telehealth and the expansion of their practice authority.