Implementing Full Practice Authority for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses: A Case for Mitigating Critical Mental Health Services

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J Am Psychiatr Nurses Assoc. 2022 May 16:10783903221096341. doi: 10.1177/10783903221096341. Online ahead of print.


The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted some perverse health disparities that we know have long existed in the United States. Disparities related to access, affordability, and cultural appropriateness of care cannot be overemphasized. More importantly, disparities related to provider shortages continue to contribute to adverse patient outcomes, particularly in rural areas and other socioeconomically deprived communities. Despite the push from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to ensure adoption and implementation of full practice authority (FPA) of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), currently only 28 states in the United States have achieved this goal. In addition, there are some states such as Florida that recently passed legislation supporting FPA for primary care APRNs, yet still have practice restrictions for specialty APRNs, such as mental health. The evidence is clear that patients managed by APRNs have better or comparable outcomes to those managed by physicians; thus, more advocacy is needed to ensure that all states and territories achieve this very important milestone for the profession as it has the potential to foster a collaborative interdisciplinary approach to patient care, which at the same time produces positive patient outcomes, employee satisfaction, and a work environment in which all members of the care team feel valued and autonomous.

PMID:35578408 | DOI:10.1177/10783903221096341