Week 1: Nurse Practitioner Professional Issues
Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners are committed to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychiatric disorders in individuals and groups through psychotherapy and medication. Since the role of the PMHNP carries such responsibility, it is no surprise that there is a rigorous path to obtain and maintain your PMHNP certification and licensure.
PMHNPs currently have only one choice for certification, which is through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The ANCC offers the “psychiatric/mental-health nurse practitioner (across the lifespan)” board certification (PMHNP-BC). In many states, board certification is a necessary prerequisite to receiving an NP license. Even if board certification is not a requirement for state licensure, it may be a requirement to receive privileges in various hospitals and other health care facilities. Malpractice insurance providers may also require board certification prior to issuing coverage to NPs.
This week, you will review your state specific PMHNP certification and licensure requirements and scope of practice, as well as prescriptive authority issues.
Summarize nurse practitioner certification and licensure processes
Explain state-specific scope of practice for psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners
Explain state-specific restrictions or limitations for practice
Explain nurse practitioner prescriptive authority and DEA registration processes
Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)PMHNP Study Support Lounge
The PMHNP Study Support Lounge is offered throughout the course as a place of academic refuge, where you can ask questions, offer insights, and interact with your peers. Your Instructor may also weigh in to provide collective feedback to the group based on trends, common problems, and common strengths in student posts.
Photo Credit: [Jacob Ammentorp Lund]/[iStock / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images
As a peer, you are encouraged to provide constructive helpful feedback. Advanced practice nurses always benefit from the feedback of others. Your Study Support Lounge posts may be procedural (“How do I attach a Kaltura video to a Discussion post?”), conceptual (“How does this relate to the other therapy approaches we have studied?”), or analytical (“What do these diagnostic results actually mean in the context of this specific patient case?”). Although not mandatory, this is an opportunity to interact and study together as you navigate the assignments, so you are highly encouraged to take part in this activity. Full participation in activities like this is a statistically significant predictor of success.
To Participate in this Optional Discussion:
PMHNP Study Support Lounge
Practicum Manual Acknowledgment
The Practicum Manual describes the structure and timing of the classroom-based and practicum experiences and the policies students must follow to be successful in the nurse practitioner (NP) specialties.
Field Experience: MSN Nurse Practitioner Practicum Manual
Click here and follow the instructions to confirm you have downloaded and read the entire MSN Nurse Practitioner Practicum Manual and will abide by the requirements described in order to successfully complete this program.
Discussion: Certification and Licensure Plan
Now that you are in the final course in your program, it is time to turn in earnest to preparing for certification and licensure. You will need to take and pass the national PMHNP certification exam. Once certified, you will then be eligible to apply for licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) in the state desired. It will be up to you to ensure you are knowledgeable about the practice agreements, scope of practice, and prescriptive authority in your state.
Photo Credit: AndreyPopov / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images
Although a movement called the APRN Consensus Model is attempting to standardize NP regulations nationally, it is still the case that requirements vary state to state. In some states, NPs may establish an independent practice without the supervision of an MD. Additionally, states are currently categorized as either allowing full practice, reduced practice, or restricted practice. Full practice states allow NPs to evaluate, order diagnostics, diagnose, and treat patients. They are licensed under the exclusive authority of the state board of nursing for the appropriate state. Many states may require prescriptive authority protocols in addition to collaborative agreement.
Another important area to consider and plan for is prescriptive authority. The appropriate board, which may be the medical board, state board of pharmacy, or nursing board, grants prescriptive authority under state law for the appropriate state licensure. The federal government grants the authority to write for a controlled substance, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) verifies this action through by the appropriate state board. Drug Enforcement Agency registration is granted at the federal level and has additional requirements/fees for the registration process.
In this Discussion, you will locate and review the practice agreements in the state in which you plan to practice, identify potential collaboration requirements in your state, and understand the certification and licensing process that you will need to follow.
Review practice agreements in your state.
Identify whether your state requires physician collaboration or supervision for nurse practitioners, and if so, what those requirements are.
Research the following:
How do you get certified and licensed as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in your state?
What is the application process for certification in your state?
What is your state’s board of nursing website?
How does your state define the scope of practice of a nurse practitioner?
What is included in your state practice agreement?
How do you get a DEA license?
Does your state have a prescription monitoring program (PMP)?
How does your state describe a nurse practitioner’s controlled-substance prescriptive authority, and what nurse practitioner drug schedules are nurse practitioners authorized to prescribe?
By Day 3 of Week 1
Post a summary of your findings on your state based on the questions listed above. Explain the types of regulations that exist and the barriers that may impact nurse practitioner independent practice in your state. Be specific. Also, describe what surprised you from your research.
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