Full Practice Authority. What is in it for you?
Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners (NP) is in the news a lot lately. What does this mean and how can it change health care?
There are three types of practice for Nurse Practitioners in the 50 states. Full Practice, Reduced Practice, and Restricted Practice. Currently the recommendation is for Full Practice.
20 states currently have what is called Full Practice. This is when “state practice and licensure law provides for nurse practitioners to evaluate patients, diagnosis, order and interpret diagnostic test, initiate and manage treatments-including prescription medications-under the exclusive licensure authority of the state board of nursing. This is the model recommended by the Institute of Medicine and National Council of State Boards of Nursing” (AANP.org)
What is in it for you? Currently there are 205,000 trained and licensed Nurse Practitioners. Not all of these Nurse Practitioners are allowed to work to their full scope of practice. What does that mean?
· Imagine going to school to get a bachelor’s and master’s degree. A good 7-8 years.
· State licenses for both a Registered Nurse (RN) and Advanced Practice Nurse (APN aka “NP”).
· A mandatory certification that is required for licensing and insurance reimbursement.
· A DEA to write prescriptions.
· Go through three months or more to get all the numbers to get reimbursed from insurance.
· All the extras, lab coats, your own equipment to use, and any advertisement to get patients to come and see you.
· All the expense in getting this. Student loans are not cheap to pay back!
· Then starting to pay back everything and make some money to pay your bills. They will shut off your electric eventually if you do not pay them.
Now imagine NOT being allowed to work because you need a physician to sign a piece of paper in your state? What about if you don’t have enough physicians? What about physicians who sell their practices? Look at all those well trained, educated, and able bodies, not able to work because of a signature? Crazy? Stupid? Unbelievable?
Now in the US we have 205,000 Nurse Practitioners, who can fill the void, fill the empty spots, take patients, increase access to providers, but maybe the reason you do not have a provider is because of a piece of paper with a signature on it?!!
Business owners can open their doors with no degrees and start taking customers. Nurse Practitioners have at licenses, degrees, and start seeing patients almost as soon as they put on their student nurse uniform. Why are we not supporting Full Authority for all Nurse Practitioners?
AANP. Org (2015). State Practice Environment. http://www.aanp.org/legislation-regulation/state-legislation-regulation/state-practice-environment
Author: Lisa Goins PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, RMT is the CEO of Couture Health Care, www.couturehealthcare.org Dr. Goins' Couture Health Care articles covers health, spiritual, holistic news, reviews for nurses and the public. Dr. Goins' book is called "Do You Know Lisa? 2014 Collection of Health Questions, Answers, and Tips" available on Amazon.com and new book "CEO Business Objectives: Health, Wealth, and Success" will be published on 4/2015. Couture Health Care provides house call Nurse Practitioner visits in Southern Ohio.
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