Role and Scope of Practice of the Advanced Practice Nurses

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Discussion Question

Discuss how you have achieved course competencies and your plans to develop further in these areas. The course competencies for this course are as follows:

1. Differentiate the role and scope of practice of the advanced practice nurses in clinical practice, primary care, education, administration and research.

2. Analyze a variety of health care systems in relationship to their method of access and availability, degree of consumer choice, competition, financing, effect on advanced practice nurses and other health professionals.

3. Analyze a specific change needed within the healthcare organization to improve the delivery of healthcare and healthcare outcomes to consumers considering factors such as method of access and availability, degree of consumer choice, competition, financing, effect on advanced practice nurses and other health professionals.

4. Integrate research and theory into discussions of competencies and points of view needed by an advanced practice nurse in a specific role or specialty.

5. Identify collaborative, organizational, communication, and leadership skills in working with other professionals in healthcare facilities and/or academic institutions.

6. Evaluate models of patient care, scholarship, teaching, leadership, and change.

7. Influence health policy using ethical statements, current terminology, classifications, methods, trends.

Justify your answers using examples and reasoning.

Role and Scope of Practice of the Advanced Practice Nurses

            The practice for these nurses is very dynamic. They are required to diagnose as well as treat patients having undifferentiated symptoms in addition to those having established diagnoses. They are required to offer comprehensive, ongoing, and initial care, which indicates the need for them to be highly educated. Their scope evolves through knowledge acquisition, experience, evidence-based practice, healthcare delivery system changes, and technology development. Hence, the advanced practice nurses may be required to practice in novel settings, develop new skills, and perform new procedure during their careers (Mateo & Kirchhoff, 2009). The advanced practice nurses are required to meet both individual and professional (advances practice nursing organizations) scopes of practice. An individual APN cannot practice the complete scope of professional specialty and role. There is immense complexity on the decisions pertaining individual practice scopes.

            A majority of the states’ laws are specific about the APN’s scope of practice. Those who practice outside the scope of practice may find their licenses jeopardized. In this case, there is a great need for laws in different states to acknowledge the APN’s roles and offer provisions that favor them. There is a great need for more education and training on the part of the APN (Mateo & Kirchhoff, 2009).

            The effective implementation of novel delivery models, for example accountable care organizations and medical homes, that can provide transitional care and chronic disease management, require that interdisciplinary teams be established so that APN can have the chance to offer a wide range of services, including illness and health management to case management. The APN’s role has a rich and long legacy. State regulations should be relaxed considering the need for quality of care data, the anticipated dramatic increase in primary care services’ demand from the Americans with insurance, and the impending primary care providers’ shortage. Expanding the APN’s scope of practice as well as team-based approaches can go a long way in improving patient satisfaction and quality, and reducing cost (Mateo & Kirchhoff, 2009).


Mateo, M. A., & Kirchhoff, K. T. (2009). Research for advanced practice nurses: From   evidence to practice. New York: Springer Pub.

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