APRN Scope of Practice

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What is an APRN's scope of practice? While the question itself is easy, the answer can be a bit more complex. The American Nurses Association's Committee on Nursing Practice Standards and Guidelines has developed a model of Professional Nursing Practice Regulation to assist in clarifying the roles and relationships associated with professional nursing practice. Scopes and Standards have been developed and maintained by the American Nurses Association to clarify the “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how” of nursing practice. In addition, through collaboration with specialty nursing organizations, ANA offers documents related to specialty nursing practice, such as pediatric nursing.

The nursing profession, including professional and specialty organizations, is responsible to its members and to the public to define the scope of practice and standards of practice. This foundational work provides the basis for further description and refinement by other entities and is represented as the broadest level at the base of the Professional Nursing Practice pyramid.

The APRN, will consider her/his own skills and expertise, in conjunction with the clinical setting and the skills and expertise of other members of the healthcare team, including the consultant physician(s).  Individual judgment regarding what falls within an individual scope of practice may well change over time, but always remains focused on providing safe, quality, and evidence-based care.