Advanced Practice Registered Nurses regulations

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses regulations

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The protection of those who receive nursing care is the responsibility of the State.  Each state’s rules and regulations, along with their Nurse Practice Act guide competent and safe practices.  Although each state is dedicated to quality care for all patients, some regulations may vary from one State to the next (NCSB. 2019).

In each state, there are regulations that pertain directly to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses.  These rules specify the criteria that a Registered Nurse must meet in order to practice as an APRN.  In Missouri, an RN must pass an advanced pharmacology course.  This course offers education related to the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of various commonly used medications.  It also provides information pertaining to the use of medications for disease treatment or health promotion (NCSB. 2019).

The state of Iowa does not specify a requirement for an advanced pharmacology course within their ARPN rules and regulations.  Both states require an active RN license and graduation from an accredited program (NCSB. 2019).  There are many more regulations related to the requirements of licensure for an APRN in Missouri than an ARNP in Iowa.

In Missouri, an APRN can apply for a certificate enabling them to prescribe controlled substances.  They could then prescribe drugs from a schedule III to V, omitting schedule I and II.  These certificates are obtained through the Missouri State Board of Nursing by applying with the Missouri Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs as well as the Drug Enforcement Agency.  This certificate requires collaborations between the APRN and a physician  (NCSB. 2019).

Iowa also has State Regulations related to Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (as it is so named in Iowa) related to the prescription of controlled substances.  Just as it is in Missouri, Iowa ARNPs may only prescribe schedule II through V of narcotics (NCSB. 2019).  Both states require that this nurse register with the DEA, only in Iowa must this nurse maintain an active Controlled Substances Act to allow them to dispense, prescribe, or administer medications that are deemed a controlled substance (Weinberg, K. 2019). After reading the regulations for an ARPN in Iowa, versus an APRN in Missouri, it seems that there are more rules, and better detail within each rule, related to these nurses’ ability to prescribe scheduled medications.

The APRN in Missouri must complete an advanced pharmacology course.  This may be very useful for these nurses to assist in the treatment of various diseases and the promotion of health.  An ARPN can specialize as a nurse anesthetist, a family nurse practitioner, a nurse-midwife, or a clinical nurse specialist (Hoebelheinrich, K. 2018). In any one of these roles, this nurse may need pharmacology knowledge to prescribe the right medications, and to monitor for side effects related to their use.  APRNs are becoming increasingly vulnerable to liabilities related to inappropriate prescribing of medications that lead to medication errors (White, C. 2011).  These errors can cause loss of life for the patients.  It is important that APRNs are properly educated in pharmacology to reduce the risk of these life-altering errors.

To ensure adherence any nurse who wants to further their education to become an APRN in Missouri should research all possible universities and programs and select one that provides an advanced pharmacology course.  It is important for a nurse to seek advice from an advisor who is employed at these schools as they will know what courses are required.  To ensure that any APRN is prescribing appropriately within the regulations of Missouri laws they should familiarize themselves with all laws and regulations related to APRN roles.  They should be aware of all requirements for obtaining certification to prescribe controlled substances and then comply with them fully.

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