APRN Strategy: Engage Students in Policy Fight

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, April 16, 2013

Like nurses in states across the country, advanced practice registered nurses in Minnesota are working to eliminate the barriers to autonomous practice, something called for in the Institute of Medicine's Future of Nursing report.

But it's not just the policy experts and nursing association leaders who are doing so: It's also nursing students, the people who make up the real future of nursing.

Helping to rally these future nurse leaders and APRNs is Catherine Miller, DNP, RN, CNP, associate professor at The College of St. Scholastica and a pediatric nurse practitioner who's also a congressional district leader for the Minnesota APRN Coalition.

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"As educators," she says. "It's just imperative that we engage our students who will be our future workforce." It's critical, she says, that students not only understand the clinical side of their work, but also the political and regulatory issues that will affect their practice.

"It's not just going to work," she says. Instead, being an effective nurse means knowing "what's going on that's going to affect your ability to keep people healthy."

Miller is one of the many APRNs in Minnesota who are lobbying for the passage of two companion bills in the Minnesota House and Senate, which would remove the requirement that APRNs have a written collaborative agreement with physicians and allow them to practice independently.

Alexandra Wilson Pecci

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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