Joint Statement on the Role of Advance Practice Registered Nurses

The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP), American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) believe in the power of an interprofessional approach to health care that highlights each provider’s unique contributions and mutual commitment to all patients.

Published this month, the “Joint Statement Regarding Post-Graduate Training of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants” suggests that physicians alone must lead emergency care. Further, it states physicians should serve in the primary role for “actively shaping” provider education, postgraduate training and scope of practice standards for other independent health disciplines.

ENA, AANP, AACN and NAPNAP have always supported that all clinicians receive appropriate education and clinical training. However, our national organizations strongly oppose the view that emergency care is solely “physician-led” or that physicians should dictate education and practice standards for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). APRNs undertake rigorous preparation through their education and clinical training through nationally accredited graduate programs, as well as pass national board certification exams. APRNs practice in accordance with the scope of practice determined by national standards and state law.

ENA, AANP, AACN and NAPNAP stand together in our belief that APRNs in emergency care should practice to the full extent of their education and clinical training. The “Joint Statement Regarding Post-Graduate Training of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants” constructs barriers that limit APRNs, diminishes a true interprofessional approach and limits access to care. At a time when we need all health care providers working together to ensure our system remains effective and efficient, these types of statements stifle the ability of health care providers to deliver optimal emergency care to patients.

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