Scope of Practice

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Determining Scope of Practice
Is something within your scope of practice? Find out by reading our guidelines for determining scope of practice. For information about prescribing controlled substances, visit our FAQ. Guidance for CNPs and CNSs is also found an article from the Nov. 2014 American Nurse Today.

Protecting Scope of Practice
Protecting the scope of practice for nurses, particularly advanced practice registered nurses, is a major initiative at ANA. ANA is working together with our Constituent Member (State) Associations to help remove geographic and practice setting limitations for APRNs. We are still working state by state to ensure that state laws affecting Advanced Practice Registered Nurses are both fair and consistent across the country, and that your scope of practice is not unfairly limited. In addition to this work, we have a number of projects that ANA collaborates on to keep APRNs working to the full potential of their training.

  1. Coalition for Patient's Rights (CPR) - ANA is a founding member of CPR. This coalition of over 35 organizations underscores the fact that our work to protect the nurses' scope of practice is not a doctor v. nurse "turf war," but is critical to building effective patient-centered interdisciplinary teams.
  2. Robert Wood Johnson Institute of Medicine report, Future of Nursing - The report's #1 recommendation has focused attention on scope of practice issues.
  3. Consensus Model for APRN Regulation - The Consensus model is referenced and included as Appendix D in the Future of Nursing Report. ANA is active in efforts to implement the Consensus Model, in which the APRN is defined as an "independent practitioner," to be licensed "with no regulatory requirements for collaboration, direction or supervision ."
  4. Legal Action - ANA weighs in on legal issues to protect nurses' ability to provide the full range of services defined by law.


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