ANA Board of Directors endorses a set of standards for APRN regulation to improve access to safe, quality care by advanced practice nurses.
"A Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification & Education will, for the first time, when implemented, standardize each aspect of the regulatory process for APRNs, resulting in increased mobility, and will establish independent practice as the norm rather than the exception. This will support APRNs caring for patients in a safe environment to the full potential of their nursing knowledge and skill." said ANA President Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR.
The APRNs community is comprised of four roles: certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), certified nurse-midwife (CNM), certified clinical nurse specialist (CNS), and certified nurse practitioner (CNP). Additionally, APRNs focus on at least one of six population foci: psych/ mental health, women's health, adult-gerontology, pediatrics, neonatal, or family.
Substantial challenges to educational expectations and certification requirements for APRNs, and the proliferation of nursing specializations have sparked debates on appropriate credentials, scope of practice, and state-by-state regulation of nursing scope of practice. To that end, the consensus model for APRN regulation focuses on the regulation and credentialing of nurses.
All graduate level APRN education will be required to include a broad-based education in the role, and in the population to be served, and will, in addition, include three separate graduate-level courses in advanced pathophysiology, advanced health assessment and advanced pharmacology as well as a minimum of 500 hours of appropriate clinical experiences. As a result of implementation of the new model, all developing graduate level APRN education programs or tracks will go through a pre-approval, pre-accreditation or accreditation process prior to admitting any students to that program or track. APRN educational programs must be housed within graduate programs that are nationally accredited and they must ensure that their programs adequately prepare their graduates to meet eligibility for national certification which leads to state licensure.
The "Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification and Education," was developed by members of the APRN Consensus Work Group, facilitated by American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) APRN Advisory Committee during four years of discussions and collaborative efforts in this groundbreaking effort to create a unified vision; this vision which defines APRN roles, practice and populations served. The goal is for full implementation of the new model by 2015.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) has been an active participant in both the APRN Consensus Work Group and the subsequently formed Joint Dialogue Group. In addition to ANA, members of the Joint Dialogue Group are the: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program, National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, American College of Nurse-Midwives, American Organization of Nurse Executives, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, National Council of State Boards of Nursing, National Council of State Boards of Nursing APRN Advisory Committee, National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and nursing compact administrators.