January 26, 2011 16:00 ET

NCSBN Spearheads New National Campaign About Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Regulation

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - January 26, 2011) - The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN®) ( is spearheading a national campaign to promote adoption of the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification and Education, which formulates national standards for uniform regulation of APRNs.

Developed through a collaborative process with participation of regulators, nurse educators, APRN certifiers, national nursing program accreditors and representatives of many APRN professional organizations, the model provides a framework for jurisdictions to implement and oversee the standardized licensure, accreditation, certification and education of APRNs.

APRNs include certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), certified nurse-midwives (CNMs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) and certified nurse practitioners (CNPs). APRNs provide care in a wide array of practice settings, including hospitals, physician offices, home care, nursing homes, schools and various types of clinics.

The consensus model seeks to eliminate the many inconsistencies that exist between jurisdictions in regard to laws and rules relating to the regulation of APRNs. These variations include everything from the actual title used by an APRN to what medications he/she may prescribe. The result is confusion for the public, as well as for other health care professionals. Additionally, an APRN may be limited in his/her ability to relocate to areas experiencing health care shortages because moving to another jurisdiction would mean being subject to different qualifications or standards of practice. In order to continue to ensure patient safety while at the same time expanding patient access to care, the education, accreditation, certification and licensure of APRNs needs to be effectively aligned.

"The ability of APRNs to provide safe, cost-effective, high-quality care is well documented in many studies over the past 30 years," comments NCSBN President Myra A. Broadway, JD, MS, RN, executive director, Maine State Board of Nursing. "Currently, barriers exist in many states that prevent APRNs from practicing to the full extent of their knowledge and skills. Adoption of the requirements in the model will ensure that people of all jurisdictions have access to care that can be provided by APRNs."

As health care continues to evolve and previously uninsured individuals are brought into the system, the demand for qualified health care providers will increase exponentially. Many experts agree that APRNs have a valuable role to play in meeting the current and future health care needs of patients in a volatile health care environment. Just recently the Institute of Medicine's "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health" report focuses attention on the "...scope of practice barriers that hinder nurses from practicing to the full extent of their education and training," especially as it relates to APRNs. The report further notes that the " care system needs to tap the capabilities of APRNs to meet the increased demand for primary care."

For more information about the APRN Consensus Model visit NCBSN's website at

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) is a not-for-profit organization whose members include the boards of nursing in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories -- American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands. There are also seven associate members.

Mission: NCSBN provides education, service and research through collaborative leadership to promote regulatory excellence for patient safety and public protection.

The statements and opinions expressed are those of NCSBN and not the individual member state or territorial boards of nursing.

National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.
111 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 2900
Chicago, IL 60601-4277

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