Nurse Practitioner Private Practice Three Legal Pitfalls – A home health nurse, or FNP, is an advanced practice registered nurse who focuses her specialized training on caring for patients across the lifespan, from infants to adults to seniors (American Nurse Practitioner Association). Practical family nurse? July 3, 2019 https://www.aanp.org/news-feed/are-you-considering-a-career-as-a-family-nurse-practitioner Accessed January 25, 2022)).
Nursing statistics show that there are more than 355,000 licensed nurses in the United States and nearly 70% of NPs specialize in family health care (American Association of Nurse Practitioners. “NP Fact Sheet.” Last updated 2021. May. https:// www .aanp.org/about/all-about-nps/np-fact-sheet Accessed 25 January 2022)) .
Nurse Practitioner Private Practice Three Legal Pitfalls
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses (RNs) who have earned at least a master’s degree to expand their knowledge and practice. During the master’s degree, each nurse acquires a specialty role, which may include clinical specialties such as a house nurse or non-clinical specialties such as a nurse educator or nurse manager. Family nurses are those whose NP role focuses on family care; other NP specialties are adult gerontology and psychiatric-mental health.
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An NP’s scope of practice is broader than that of an RN. They often serve as primary care providers (PCPs) and diagnose, order tests, prescribe medications, and create treatment plans in all 50 states of the United States. In 25 states, they have “full rights to practice” and practice independently, while in the rest they must practice in partnership with or under the supervision of a physician (American Association of Nurse Practitioners. “State Practice Environment.” Last modified August 4, 2021 https://www .aanp.org/advocacy/state/state-practice-environment. Accessed 25 January 2022). Statistically, NP patients have fewer unnecessary emergency room visits and fewer hospitalizations; report higher satisfaction rates than other types of PCPs (American Nurse Practitioner Association. “Quality of Nursing Practice.” Last updated: 2020. https://www.aanp.org/advocacy/advocacy-resource/ position).-statements/praktisyn-quality nursing practice. Accessed: 25 January 2022.)) .
Considering that Americans visit more than 1.06 billion NPs each year, 70% of family health certified nurses are actively involved in the lives of millions of people (American Nurse Practitioner Association. “What’s a Nurse Practitioner (NP))?” ” 19, 2021. https://www.aanp.org/about/all-about-nps/whats-a-nurse-practitioner. Accessed 25 January 2022))).
With a potential patient population of infants, children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly, the daily workload of an FNP can vary greatly depending on the needs of each individual patient. It is not uncommon for FNPs to begin seeing patients in childhood and continue as health care providers into adulthood. This creates an opportunity for FNPs to monitor patient health and well-being over time more effectively than other nursing scenarios ((Indeed Editorial Team. Indeed. “Nurse Practitioner vs. Practical Nurse: Definitions and How They Differ.).” 13 May 2021. https: //www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/fnp-vs-np. Accessed 25 January 2022)).
FNPs typically work in hospital outpatient clinics, private practices, and private group practices treating common health problems such as upper respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, minor injuries, women’s health issues, asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more. Poghosyan, Lusine, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN; Allison A. Norful, PhD, RN, ANP-BC; Jianfang Liu, PhD; and Mark W. Friedberg, MD. “Nursing practice environment in primary care and quality of care for medical conditions.” Medical care 56, no. 9 (2018): 791-97. doi: 10.1097/MLR.00000000000000961. )) They also order routine exams and educate patients about disease prevention through holistic wellness strategies ((Myers, Wyatt. Healthgrades. “Treatments A Nurse Can Provide.”) Last modified: October 1, 2021 https://www.healthgrades.com/ rights -care/patient-protection/treatment-and-nurse-available Accessed 25 January 2022)) . Full-time workers fill an average of 21 prescriptions per day ((American Nurse Practitioner Association. “Are You Mely Career as a Family Nurse Practitioner?”) Jul 3, 2019 https://www.aanp.org/news-feed / consider- a-career-as-a-family-health-nurse Accessed January 25, 2022)) .
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Home nurses juggle a wide range of work responsibilities to provide basic patient care. These include ((American Association of Nurse Practitioners. “Are you considering a career as a family nurse practitioner?”, 3 Jul 2019. https://www.aanp.org/news-feed/are-you-considering-a – career as a family nurse practitioner) : 25 January 2022)):
More than 36,000 NPs completed their degree programs in 2020 (American Association of Nurse Practitioners. “NP Fact Sheet.” Last updated May 2021. https://www.aanp.org/about/all-about-nps/np data sheet Accessed January 25, 2022)). Since 70% of NPs are FNPs, it can be assumed that approximately 25,000 of these graduates are certified as family caregivers. But let’s take a step back to appreciate the journey to get there.
(“Indeed Editorial Team. Indeed.” Nurse Practitioner vs. Family Nurse Practitioner: Definitions and How They’re Different.” 13 May 2021 https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/fnp -vs -np. Accessed 25 Jan 2022)) ((“American Association of Nurse Practitioners. “Looking for a Career as a Family Nurse Practitioner?”) 3 July 2019 https://www.aanp. org/newsfeed/consider – a-career -e-family-nurse Accessed 25 January 2022)
To become a certified FNP, you must pass the National FNP Certification Exam, which tests your knowledge of family medicine—conditions, treatments, medications, and more. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners provides detailed information on certification options. You can obtain certification for the FNP specialization through one of the following organizations:
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Other optional qualifications are available for FNPs who wish to further specialize in areas such as diabetes, pain management or obesity.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for practical nurses including NPs was $117,670 in May 2020. Hospital workers earned an average of $124,660 (Labor Statistics (U.S. Bureau of NP). “Anesthesiologists, Nurse Practitioners and nurses.” Last modified: September 8, 2021 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse- narcotiseurs-verpleegster-vroedvroue-en-nurses.htm. Accessed 25 January 2022)).
The demand for nurses is expected to increase significantly over the next decade. The BLS estimates that the demand for advanced practice nurses, including NPs, will increase by 45% from 2020 to 2030, creating 121,400 new jobs. And when 36,000 NPs graduated last year alone, the offer is also growing strongly.
Through your career as a family nurse, you can have a positive impact on the longevity and quality of life of your patients, with effects that span generations. Get on your way today!
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It is imperative that you understand the NP practice authority in your state. Research the states where you have full authority to practice and how you can advocate for change.
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10-year projections estimate that NP employment growth will exceed that of most healthcare workers. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that overall health care job growth will be 13% between 2021 and 2031, while the number of NPs will increase by 46%.
Growth is driven in part by physician shortages, excellent patient outcomes and an aging population with ever-increasing health care needs. NPs working in full practice jurisdictions can offer patients a wider range of services and options.
Learn about the right to practice in each state, how to advocate for full licensure, and what to consider before opening your own practice.
The American Nurses Association defines scope of practice as “the services that a qualified healthcare professional is considered and authorized to perform—in accordance with the terms of their professional license.”
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These services are defined by the “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, “why” and “how” of nursing, clarifying complex aspects and defining overlapping responsibilities.
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners identifies three types of codes of practice for NPs that define an NP’s scope of practice within state regulations. The three types are:
These are legal and statutory restrictions on the right to practice. In other words, the data show that NPs provide excellent primary and specialty care, whether under physician supervision or independently.
There are currently 26 full practice office statuses for NPs, 13 limited practice office statuses, and 11 limited practice office statuses. This represents a shift to states with full powers from 2019, when there were 22 full, 16 reduced and 12 limited powers.
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If you want to open your own practice, you need to know the practice law in each state. Below are the US states and territories by NP Practice Authority for October
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