Access to Care and Advanced Practice Nurses

A Review of Southern U.S. Practice Laws

At a time when a severe shortage of primary care providers is making it difficult to ensure that patients in rural and underserved communities get high-quality care, some southern states have enacted laws and rules that prevent highly trained advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) from doing all they can to help meet the need.

A new paper, Access to Care and Advanced Practice Nurses, A Review of Southern U.S. Practice Laws, from the Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA), provides an overview of these laws. CCNA is a joint initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AARP and the AARP Foundation.

APRNs have advanced training in preventing, diagnosing and treating illness. Allowing them to provide a fuller range of services can help address provider shortages, the paper says. It is part of a new series on issues relating to nurses’ scope of practice.