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NAPNAP Releases Position Statement on Credentialing and Privileging for Nurse Practitioners

NAPNAP Releases Position Statement on Credentialing and
Privileging for Nurse Practitioners
All pediatric-focused APRNs should practice to the full extent of their education.

The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) has released an updated position statement in the March/April issue of Journal of Pediatric Health Care urging hospital and other health systems to credential and privilege pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to perform services to the full extent of their education and scope of practice. The National Academy of Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine, stated in a 2011 report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health that health care organizations must allow nurse practitioners to practice to the full extent of their education, certification and licensure to improve the delivery of health care.

Each health system has its own processes and requirements for credentialing and privileging APRNs, physicians, registered nurses and other health care providers. The health system collects, verifies and evaluates the data relevant to the health care provider’s professional performance. The individual health care provider is responsible for providing documentation that demonstrate competence for the skills required of their specific role and responsibility. This typically includes licensure, certification, professional standards of practice and continuing education.

“Pediatric-focused APRNs welcome the thorough vetting provided by the credentialing and privileging process,” said NAPNAP President Cathy Haut, DNP, CPNP-AC, CPNP-PC, CCRN. “Our concern remains that physician-driven hospital and health system credentialing boards frequently use byzantine rules to prevent APRNs from practicing to the fullest extent of their scope and education. This is a disservice to patients and innovation.”

In order to permit the development of new skills, appropriate mentoring, including didactic education, hands-on experience or simulated experiences is required. NAPNAP believes it is essential for APRNs and other providers to validate clinical competence through structured processes within a variety of health care settings; furthermore, demonstration of clinical competence through privileging is mandated by a variety of regulatory bodies.

To improve pediatric health care delivery, NAPNAP supports:

  1. Nurse practitioner credentialing through The Joint Commission’s Medical Staff Credentialing process with admitting, discharge, and clinical privileges consistent with the full scope of nurse practitioner education, certification and licensure.
  2. Full nurse practitioner membership on credentialing and privileging committees.
  3. Fair, cost-effective, and uniform continuous quality surveillance that is Ongoing Professional Practice Evaluation (OPPE) and processes for all initial and potentially questionable practices regarding an nurse practitioner’s ability to provide safe, quality care that is Focused Professional Practice Evaluation (FPPE) with the goal to protect and promote the public’s health.
  4. The use of a National Practitioner Data Bank to provide information on adverse clinical privilege outcomes, licensure disciplinary actions, medical malpractice payments and surveillance of adverse events.
  5. Ongoing continuing education as a mechanism for nurse practitioners to acquire and enhance the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain privileges while ensuring optimal patient care, positive patient outcomes and professional development.

The entire position statement can be viewed at jpedhc.org.​

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The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) is the nation’s only professional association for pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) dedicated to improving the quality of health care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Representing more than 8,500 healthcare practitioners with 17 special interest groups and 49 chapters, NAPNAP has been advocating for children’s health since 1973 and was the first APRN society in the U.S. Our mission is to empower pediatric-focused APRNs and their interprofessional partners to enhance child and family health through leadership, advocacy, professional practice, education and research. www.NAPNAP.org