Regulation of nursing practice.
Protecting the public via strict oversight of the nursing profession is the primary mission of state and regional nursing boards. A nurse’s specialty, qualifications, and licensing may be affected by the primary regulations regulating nursing practice. Regulation of nursing practice ensures that only those who meet certain qualifications are allowed to work in the field, protecting the public from harm that may result from unqualified nurses providing care.
The scope of practice for APRNs varies widely from one jurisdiction to the next. Some regions and states have stricter regulations than others. For instance, some states and regions need APRNs to have a specific amount of clinical experience before they may be licensed, whereas other states and regions may not have this criterion at all.
The two most important laws regulating APRN practicing are the requirements for licensing and the scope of activity. Most states and regions need a certain level of clinical experience before issuing a license for an APRN. In certain regions and jurisdictions, the nurse must additionally meet certain educational requirements.
In the state of California, for instance, a nurse seeking an APRN license must have a master’s degree in nursing or higher. The scope of practice for APRNs varies by state and location. Prescription writing privileges for APRNs are available in several jurisdictions. Several states and municipalities do not allow APRNs to prescribe medications. Laws pertaining to APRNs’ ability to practice vary widely across jurisdictions. A nurse’s training, certification, and scope of practice are all susceptible to variance.
Nurses need to be aware of the regulations pertaining to APRN practice in their respective states or regions. Nurses should also be familiar with the regulations governing APRN practice in jurisdictions beyond their own. Nurses will be better prepared for any future changes to APRN practice rules with this information in hand.
The mission of the board of nursing is to protect the public by setting standards for the nursing profession. The Board of Nursing establishes the requirements for obtaining a license and the regulations governing the practice of nursing in the state.
The board also investigates complaints from nurses and takes appropriate disciplinary action if necessary. Numerous significant laws affect the nursing profession. Among them are the code of conduct, the permitted scope of practice, and the requirements for certification.
Guidelines for licensing vary by state. Some states need a master’s degree in nursing, while others just a bachelor’s. Registered nurses are required to demonstrate competence on an examination before being issued a license. The nursing profession has a defined “scope of practice,” which outlines the permissible duties of nurses.
Nurses can prescribe drugs in some but not all states. A nurse’s ethical code is a set of principles that should be followed in the field. Each state’s board of nursing has its own set of regulations, which may be rather different from one another. For instance, some states allow nurses to prescribe medications while others do not. The rules of behavior may also vary from state to state.
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Boards of Nursing (BONs) exist in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands. Similar entities may also exist for different regions. The mission of BONs is the protection of the public through the regulation of nursing practice. BONs put into practice state/region regulations for nurses that, among other things, lay out the requirements for licensure and define the scope of nursing practice in that state/region.
It can be a valuable exercise to compare regulations among various state/regional boards of nursing. Doing so can help share insights that could be useful should there be future changes in a state/region. In addition, nurses may find the need to be licensed in multiple states or regions.
- Review the Resources and reflect on the mission of state/regional boards of nursing as the protection of the public through the regulation of nursing practice.
- Consider how key regulations may impact nursing practice.
- Review key regulations for nursing practice of your state’s/region’s board of nursing and those of at least one other state/region and select at least two APRN regulations to focus on for this Discussion.
- Post a comparison of at least two APRN board of nursing regulations in your state/region with those of at least one other state/region. Describe how they may differ. Be specific and provide examples. Then, explain how the regulations you selected may apply to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) who have legal authority to practice within the full scope of their education and experience. Provide at least one example of how APRNs may adhere to the two regulations you selected.
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