In recent years, the advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) role has expanded rapidly in terms of numbers and capabilities, yet no uniform APRN regulation model currently exists across the United States. Thus, each state independently determines such important parameters as legal scope of practice, roles that are recognized, criteria for entry into advanced practice, and minimum certification requirements. These inconsistencies adversely have affected access to care for patients and created a significant barrier for APRNs who wish to move from state to state.
In 2004, a national panel, the APRN Consensus Work Group, which included ONCC, was formed and charged with developing a uniform regulatory model for advanced practice nursing. In 2006, representatives of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Advanced Practice Advisory Panel joined the APRN Consensus Work Group in joint dialogue to work toward a future consensus model for APRN regulation. The draft recommendations of the work group have recently been released.
On May 16, 2008, a special session was held at the ONS 33rd Annual Congress in Philadelphia to discuss these recently completed recommendations. Presenters in the session provided a brief overview of the history of APRN regulation, review the demographics of oncology APRNs, and discuss the implications of the new model for oncology APRNs.
Because of the importance of APRNs caring for patients now and in the future, it is vital that the education, accreditation, certification, and licensure of APRNs be effectively aligned to ensure patient safety while expanding patient access to APRNs. APRNs, as well as educators and employers, planning are encouraged to review this information to learn more about this important report that may significantly affect their profession in the near future and for years to come.
View the slides presented during a special session at the 33rd ONS Annual Congress.