Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

The advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) consensus model is a model that presents regulations and recommendations for accreditation, licensure, education, and certification across America. Its purpose is to support Aprn’s ability to provide high-quality care to the full extent of their skills. This report reflects on the model, its applications, and benefits for APRNs. The paper stresses the significance of unified regulations for practice.

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APRN Consensus Model

The APRN consensus model aims to address the problematic issues in APRN regulations throughout America. This solution is the result of the collaboration between more than forty nursing organizations (American Nurses Credentialing Center, 2019). The essential elements of the APRN regulatory model are licensure, accreditation, certification, and education (“Consensus model for APRN,” 2008). Licensure is defined as providing a nurse with authority to practice.

Accreditation is the assessment and approval of a certification program or an educational degree in nursing performed by a recognized agency. Certification is the method of recognition of individuals’ skills and knowledge as they achieve particular standards of practice. Finally, education is the professional preparation of an APRN during graduate-degree or post-graduate certification programs.

These elements are important to advanced practice nurses for several reasons. First, they ensure that an APRN is prepared to provide necessary services to at least one group of the population. Second, the consensus model protects patients from low-quality services as it requires medical professionals to prove their clinical skills. Third, as advanced nursing is based on in-depth knowledge and capacities, as well as enhanced complexity of interventions, the elements of the regulatory model serve as a support measure for these aspects.

Population Focused Roles

The consensus model of regulation features four roles, including a certified nurse-midwife (CNM), a clinical nurse specialist (CNS), a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), and a certified nurse practitioner (CNP). All of these roles are included in the APRN title (“Consensus model for APRN,” 2008). The regulatory model requires APRNs to be educated in at least one population-focused role, such as pediatrics, adult-gerontology, family or individual care across the lifespan, neonatal, mental health, and women’s or gender-related health. To work with these groups of the population, a nurse should receive broad-based education, attend graduate-level courses in pathophysiology, health assessment, pharmacology, and physiology, as well as have appropriate clinical experience.

Enhancing APRNs’ Practice

The consensus model can improve the practice of an APRN significantly. Advanced practice nursing is associated with a greater level of accountability to patients and the nursing profession in general; regulations are designed to help medical professionals to fulfill their duties. Accreditation and education emphasize the significance of efficient clinical skills and ensure that APRNs acquire the necessary knowledge to provide high-quality services.

Certification establishes standards of practice and allows nurses to gain capacities to adhere to them. Without the consensus model, implementing high-quality care would be challenging because there would not be clearly defined standards and methods for the evaluation of nurses’ professional skills. Moreover, educational programs would potentially be inappropriate for advanced practice nursing and lack the necessary courses. The consensus model provides stability in care and recognizes the achievement of standards in medical services.

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It is necessary to add that the model aims to unite various nursing programs, certification organizations, and state boards of nursing in the identification of nurses’ roles. The purpose of it is to establish the same standards of practice across the United States and allow APRNs to adhere to them during their education period, licensure, and certification. Thus, the consensus model can help to improve advanced practice nursing and enhance patient outcomes.

Barriers to APRN Practice

APRN practice may be associated with several barriers that should be addressed. For example, if an advanced practice nurse moves state, they may encounter the challenge of different licensure requirements, which will potentially interfere with their ability to provide extensive care. Moreover, there is a lack of standardization across states, which means that in some locations, APRNs may have less authority than in others. The barriers to practice may be the same for each of the roles.

For example, due to a lack of coordination in regulations, in some states, APRNs may be unable to treat chronic pain, evaluate disability benefits, or prescribe scheduled medications (Gutchell, Idzik, and Lazear, 2014). In many states, they are required to work in collaboration with physicians or under their supervision. These points show that challenges may prevent APRNs from providing high-quality care. For instance, neonatal nurses may be unable to refer infants to intensive care units, and gerontology care providers may be restricted from prescribing treatment.


The APRN consensus model aims to address challenges to APRN practice. These barriers include the lack of standardization, which leads to advanced nurses’ inability to perform the same operations across different states. The consensus model provides recommendations and regulations regarding licensure, accreditation, certification, and education. It is beneficial for APRNs as it establishes the standards of practice and allows them to prove the high level of their skills and knowledge.


American Nurses Credentialing Center. (2019). APRN consensus model. Web.

Consensus Model for APRN regulation: Licensure, accreditation, certification & education. (2008). Web.

Gutchell, V., Idzik, S., & Lazear, J. (2014). An evidence-based path to removing APRN practice barriers. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 10(4), 255-261.

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