Credentialing is a process of paramount importance. Specialists can undergo this procedure both on the state and local (institutional) levels. In regard to family nurse practitioners (NPs), this activity is related to the obtainment of a certain title and documentation that will provide a specialist with an opportunity to function within the certain scope of practice. Importantly, individuals should always receive credentials from a regulatory body. The purpose of this paper is to discuss important issues in credentialing and review the strategies that can strengthen advanced nursing practice.
One of the issues in credentialing is the state practice and licensure. According to the evidence, these domains are varied for different states. Therefore, to practice to their full authority, family NPs have to meet the guidelines imposed by their particular state. At present, less than half of the states have advanced this authority. When functioning in different settings, specialists frequently have to meet new requirements (Black, 2013). It implies that they have to decrease their practice size to cooperate with other professionals forming multidisciplinary teams. In other instances, they have to function under supervision.
Prescriptive authority is another challenge faced by family NPs. Despite the fact that several initiatives have been proposed to unify the requirements for practitioners, the regulations are still varied for different states. There is no single standard for prescriptive authority; therefore, specialists have to be aware of the existing differences and perform within the limits existing in each particular locale (Black, 2013). Depending on the region, specialists need to have different education hours in pharmacotherapeutics and meet other factors that will allow them to perform their duties. Moreover, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) numbers are state specific. Thus, specialists have to obtain a new registration in every region where they intend to practice.
Reimbursement is also an issue of paramount importance. NPs should have an impact on health policy to ensure sufficient compensation (Black, 2013). The existing reimbursement patterns are rather constrained. Engagement from the side of Medicare and Medicaid services is essential to resolve this issue.
The strategy revealing how the discussed issues will strengthen advanced nursing practice can be concluded to an understanding that the existing variations should be eliminated to make credentialing patterns unified. If the differences at the national level are liquidated, family NPs will be able to exhibit greater autonomy. Another approach is to determine the role of family NPs on the national scale (Black, 2013). If all states regard NPs similarly, the process of credentialing will also be simplified. That is to say, state boards, insurers, and other parties should possess unified criteria that they will observe in all specialists. In this case, they will be able to ensure patient security and manage certification in a similar manner while eliminating the existing barriers linked to the variations in the regulation (Black, 2013). National certification and reimbursement programs, as well as the approved scope of practice, will allow specialists to exhibit greater autonomy and bring the states into accord.
The author’s personal philosophy is based on three postulates. First, the author will strive for ensuring patients’ well-being by observing their security and health needs. Second, it is essential to deliver quality care that relies on the principles of evidence-based medicine and is ethical in its character (Hamric, Hanson, Fran Tracy, & O’Grady, 2013). The author will cooperate with other specialists to reach continuity of care and ensure patient safety. Third, continuous education is an integral element of effective advanced practice; therefore, it is crucial to remain informed. Moreover, the author will make efforts to advance the nursing profession further.
Thus, it can be concluded that family nurse practitioners face numerous issues in their practice. Credentialing is the area that requires the attention from the side of the government and national-level organizations to ensure the existing challenges are addressed. Nonetheless, practitioners can also make a difference at their individual level by developing a personal philosophy that will encourage them to advance the nursing profession.
Black, B. P. (2013). Professional nursing: Concepts & challenges. New York, NY: Elsevier.
Hamric, A. B., Hanson, C. M., Fran Tracy, M., & O’Grady, E. T. (2013). Advanced practice nursing: An integrative approach (5th ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier.