Advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) have significant contributions to healthcare. They have years of experience with patients and are highly skilled and knowledgeable about the needs of the patients. Consequently, these nurses can offer holistic treatment to the patient and not focus solely on the symptomatology of the disease. Research has established that primary care providers can satisfy the population’s health needs (BRYKCZYNSKI, 2023). Therefore, giving the nurses enhanced autonomy and authority can significantly improve treatment outcomes, lower the number of emergency cases and increase patient care access.
In the United States, the role, requirements, and regulations of nurse practitioners vary from one state to another. I plan to practice in Louisiana state. My paper, therefore, focuses on the roles of APRNs and the professional and educational requirements outlined by Louisiana state. I will also look into the process of certification and the regulations on the practice in this state.
Personal philosophy and framework
My philosophy as a practitioner is to provide a holistic approach to patient treatment. Treating the patient as a whole may provide numerous benefits to the patient compared to when the nurse practitioner focuses only on alleviating symptoms of the presenting condition (Masters, 2011). To achieve this goal, the nurse practitioner should invest adequately in establishing a long-lasting professional relationship with the patient. One of the aspects that can drive a good and trusting nurse-client relationship is the presence of clear communication. The patient must be assured that they are safe to share information regarding their condition and trust the clinician with sensitive matters of their personal lives. Furthermore, patient education and counseling are crucial to addressing patients’ healthcare needs.
As an APRN, my nursing care would align with Virginia’s Henderson Theory. In this theory, Virginia focuses on the idea that nursing is an intervention for reclaiming the abilities and capabilities of a person rather than just the provision of health care services (Masters, 2011). In other words, nursing has become more of an art of offering primary medical care to individuals. In line with this theory, I would be more interested in improving and enhancing patients’ independence and taking control of their own health.
Educational courses and professional requirements for APRN professional certification and licensing within Louisiana
Nurses must meet specific educational requirements to become eligible as an APRN. To begin with, a nurse must have an active and unrestricted registered license. In addition, the Louisiana State Board of Nursing stipulates that APRNs’ curricula must contain courses including diagnostic reasoning, advanced pharmacology, pathophysiology, and health care management. Practitioners hoping to become APRNs must attain graduate programs that prepare them for the roles and target groups (Louisiana Certified Nurse Practitioner Requirements, n.d.). These educational programs are meant to align with the curriculum guidelines set by the Board. A program may award a doctoral or Master’s degree.
For licensure eligibility without a Master’s degree, nurses must have obtained their graduation by the end of 2005 or have been enrolled by that time. In addition, a third party must have validated the program they undertook. This would imply that the Louisiana Board of nursing may have approved the program explicitly, a program that an approved institution may also offer. The student will also be evaluated based on the hours they have had direct clinical care with the patient. In Louisiana, the threshold is 500 hours. Besides, a prospective APRN should be clean and free from pending disciplinary issues or cases with the licensing bodies or state government.
Application for an initial APRN license requires that one completes an online application on Louisiana online website. The applicant must also complete a criminal background investigation, which may involve a fingerprint check at the police station. The fingerprint background check will be an exemption for the prospective APRNs who opt to deliver the applications at the Board office in person (Louisiana Certified Nurse Practitioner Requirements, n.d.). In that case, their fingerprints will be made at the center. A school official should then complete the education verification form and mail it directly to the Board. The same case applies to the submission of the transcripts. The applicant is expected to pay an application fee that the Board will request. The applicant must provide a photo of the most current and valid identification and the payment receipt for additional credentials.
APRN Role and Prescriptive Privilege
The Louisiana State Board of Nursing (LSBN) licenses the APRNs of the state, and it recognizes the four advanced practice roles, which include the following ((Louisiana Certified Nurse Practitioner Requirements, n.d.):
- Clinical Nurse Midwives (CNM)
- Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
- Certified Nurse Practitioner (NP) and,
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
An APRN will have a target population that he focuses on. For instance, a CNM may concentrate on women’s health issues and family planning, and gynecological problems. In contrast, the nurse practitioner can focus on children or pediatric populations.
In Louisiana, APRNs apply for prescriptive authority separately. The qualification requires three credit hours or 45 contact hours: advanced pathophysiology, advanced health assessment, and pharmacotherapeutics (Louisiana Certified Nurse Practitioner Requirements, n.d.). Under the Louisiana laws and the regulations by the Board of Nursing, the APRN must have a collaborative agreement with a physician who is actively involved and currently registered to practice in the state. The main goal of the collective agreement is to improve patient care and safety.
Differences between prescriptive authority, credentialing, and clinical privileges
Louisiana has three distinct levels of practice: reduced, restricted, and full prescriptive authority. In this state, the reduced prescriptive authority dominates, implying that the practitioner has limited power such that other privileges are provided within the license while others are denied (Louisiana Certified Nurse Practitioner Requirements, n.d.). The full prescriptive authority would mean that a nurse practitioner can provide a wide range of services ranging from diagnosis, treatment, and management of illnesses and controlled prescribing of medications. The prescriptive authority can bar access to clinical care when it is more restrictive, but in most cases, it will tend to protect the patients.
Credentialing refers to the process that puts into use the stipulated guidelines to ensure that patients get the best care from the practitioners and that the same standards of practice apply to all health providers. Clinical privileging, on the other hand, may refer to the process that allows the health provider to offer a different set of skills, which the institution applauds. All these processes ensure the nurses’ safety and quality of care. An essential guide in pursuing these processes is the APRN consensus model, which entails the certification, accreditation, and licensure criteria for the advanced practice.
For a long time, the nursing profession has been given low regard and minimal acceptance concerning power and authority ((AANP, 2020). However, the narrative has changed over the year following collaborative efforts between the World Health Organization and other international agencies such as the International Council of Nurses (Schober, 2018). These bodies committed themselves to campaigns aimed at raising the nurses’ status globally and encouraging policies that support the practitioners. In addition, the aim is to produce professionals with leadership and decision-making skills who can positively impact the lives of their patients.
The nursing profession has evolved massively over the years, and new perspectives have been created (Waldrop, 2020). Including advanced practice, registered nurses have dramatically improved the quality of services that patients receive from the nurses. Moreover, the skills and knowledge contributed by APRNs have enhanced access to care at affordable costs. As a result, nurses have an improved global image and status quo among other health professionals.
American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). (2020, August 7). The development of
advanced practice nursing internationally. American Association of Nurse Practitioners. https://www.aanp.org/news-feed/the-development-of-advanced-practice-nursing-internationally
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Louisiana Certified Nurse Practitioner Requirements (n.d.). NursingLicensure.org. https://www.nursinglicensure.org/np-state/louisiana-nurse-practitioner/
Masters, K. (2011). Models and theories focused on nursing goals and functions. Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice, 383-412. https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=7tdLDgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA425&dq=virginia+henderson%27s+theory+nursing+practice&ots=oQ4RC6eVcg&sig=-c5l2xVdPlI3xG8NHxcrREuZhsQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=virginia%20henderson’s%20theory%20nursing%20practice&f=false
Schober, M. (2018). Global emergence of nurse practitioner/advanced practice nursing roles. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 30(4), 182-184. https://journals.lww.com/jaanp/Citation/2018/04000/Global_emergence_of_nurse_practitioner_advanced.2.aspx
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Waldrop, J. B. (2020). Support for Nurse Practitioner Role Development Worldwide. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 16(8), A9-A10. https://www.npjournal.org/article/S1555-4155(20)30367-6/fulltext