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Benefits of Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners


Written By: Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN

Nurse practitioners serve as an important and vital component of the healthcare environment. Depending on where you choose to practice will determine the type of practice authority or independence you will have. One type of independence in practice is known as full practice authority. I know what you are thinking; hold on a second, what is full practice authority? Well, this essentially means that you can practice independently and not under the supervision of a physician. So, what are the benefits of full practice authority for nurse practitioners? Well, keep on reading, and I am going to let you in on the top 7 benefits of full practice authority for nurse practitioners.


How Many States are Currently Offering Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners?


The following states are states that allow nurse practitioners to practice with full practice authority. You will essentially have the capability to assess, diagnoses, and treat your patients without being overseen by a physician. You will have the capability to order a test, interpret those test results, and write prescriptions and treatment plans for your patients. You will find yourself practicing with the full extent of your education and license, allowing you to be in private practice if that is something you feel you want to do. If private practice is not for you, you can also work independently in a health care facility.

Alaska Arizona Colorado Connecticut
Florida Hawaii Idaho Iowa
Maine Maryland Minnesota Montana
Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Mexico
North Dakota Oregon Rhode Island South Dakota
Vermont Washington Wyoming
(Source: aanp.org)


Following are the Top 7 Benefits of Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners


1) Positive Job Outlook

When it comes to health care services, rural America is approaching a crisis state. These areas are already lacking the amount of primary care providers that are needed to serve their population. The fact that there is an aging population and many in the workforce are approaching retirement age will additionally compound this issue. Another factor that will increase the demand for primary care providers is the Affordable Care Act. As a nurse practitioner with full practice authority, you will be in high demand and you will be able to fill this gap leading to a positive job outlook. Remember, if there is a need, there will be a job!

2) Positive impact on your patient’s health

Full practice authority nurse practitioners provide complete and concise medical care to their patients. A nurse practitioner with full practice authority has been shown to reduce the readmission rate in those who have recently been in post-acute hospital care for rehabilitation, decrease the hospitalization rates from the nursing home setting, and increase the overall health outcomes in preventable hospitalizations. That is something to feel good about. You are making a positive impact on your patient’s health outcome.

3) Collaboration fee

A collaboration fee occurs when a nurse practitioner is required to be supervised by a physician. This is seen in states that do not allow for full practice authority. When a nurse practitioner enters into a collaboration with a physician, a fee for collaboration may be required to be paid. No set amount is required to be paid. This is a fee that is agreed upon by both parties. If you work in a state that allows for the nurse practitioner's full practice authority, you will not need to pay this type of fee because no collaboration is occurring.

4) Independence in procedures

Another benefit of full practice authority for nurse practitioners is the ability to perform procedures independently. This will be based on your education, training, license, and certification. So essentially, if you have the training for the procedure, you can perform it. Some of these procedures may include central line placement, arterial line placements, and stitching of lacerations, to name a few.

5) You will help improve access to care

By being a full practice nurse practitioner, you are giving those seeking care the ability to receive care. Those in certain demographic and socioeconomic areas tend to not seek preventable and primary care due to access issues. This is especially evident in rural and underserved areas. As the primary care provider for these areas, your presence will ensure that this population receives care for preventable and acute conditions.

6) Effective provider

You, as the nurse practitioner with full practice authority, can be a more effective provider to your patients because you do not have to wait for direction from a physician. This will provide faster care for your patients, which in itself is more effective. You can cut out the middleman. A nurse practitioner completes a vigorous education program and has a knowledge base that enables them to make safe and sound decisions for their patients. If you work as a full practice NP, you will make full decisions regarding your patient's care without supervision.

7) Trust

Many patients choose to seek their care through nurse practitioners with full practice authority due to the amount of trust they have for them. This trust is important in having patients become engaged in their own healthcare and adhering to their treatment plan. If you do not trust them, you will take their advice with a grain of salt, which can have negative repercussions.


Conclusion


The benefits of full practice authority for nurse practitioners can range in positives for you as well as positives for your patients. Although you will be taking on full responsibility as a full authority practice nurse practitioner, you may feel so rewarded at the end of the day. Remember, you are not only such a valued member of the healthcare team; you are also a valued and trusted person in your patient's lives.


Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN
Jennifer Schlette is a registered nurse in pediatric critical care in New York City. She is the former Director of Undergraduate Nursing at a college located in New York. After obtaining her BSN from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, she went on to complete her MSN.