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Elevating APRNs to Work at the Top of Their License

Posted about 1 month ago

 


Let’s face it. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses are in a weird spot. Despite having a degree that demonstrates knowledge and ability far above that of a BSN- or ADN-prepared nurse, oftentimes legislators don’t understand what exactly they do since they don’t practice “medicine”. This puts them in a strange middle area, with state governments unsure of how to classify them. (For more information on that, see this map from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners). 

Despite the inconsistency, ISAPN believes that all Advanced Practice Registered Nurses should be able to practice at the top of their licenses. Read on for ISAPN’s definition of “working at the top of their license,” and our thoughts on how to allow APRNs to do so!

Nurses Working at the Top of Their License 

According to the website KevinMD.com, medical professionals working at the top of their license means “routine activities should utilize the full extent of their education, training, and experience, and that their time should not be spent doing things that could be effectively done by someone else with a different set of skills.” 

While this is a general definition, for APRNs, it is more specific. 

“Working at the top of your license as an APRN means being able to assess, treat, and order medications and supplies for patients,” said one of our members.  “It also involves being able to sign all paperwork and get paid a fair amount for your skills.” 

APRN Difficulty Working at the Top of Their License 

With the grey area that APRNs are in, working at the top of their licenses can sometimes be difficult. However, there are some things that can be done to work towards allowing APRNs to do so. 

“One thing that can be done is to make sure that APRN credential lists match national recommendations,” said member Linda Irle. “We should also be focused on educating doctors on the APRN role.” 

“Currently, the biggest hindrance for APRNs is the inability for them to admit and discharge patients, and the requirement of collaborative agreements,” said member Debra Lowrance. “In addition, we need all insurance companies to recognize APRNs as separate from doctors, not dependent on them. The more APRNs can work at the top of their scope, the more satisfied patients are with care provided.” 

ISAPN Works for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses 

ISAPN believes that Advanced Practice Registered Nurses should always be able to work at the top of their license. As a result, ISAPN is constantly working towards allowing APRNs to do so, including through our PAC

If you’ve got other ideas for how we can work towards allowing APRNs to practice at the top of their licenses, we’d love to hear it! Feel free to contact us here