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Advanced Practice Nurses Battle On for Autonomy

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, April 3, 2012

Under a new Graduate Nurse Education (GNE) Demonstration, CMS will provide hospitals working with nursing schools to train APRNs with payments of up to $200 million over four years to cover the costs their clinical training.

CMS will select up to five eligible hospitals to participate in the demonstration, which is expected to run for four years. Payments to the hospitals will be linked to the number of additional APRNs that the hospitals and their partners are able to train as a result of their participation in the demonstration.

Summers says an important provision is the demonstration's requirement that half of the clinical training must occur in non-hospital settings in the community.

"There's a good example of the government trying to provide an incentive to [say] we can transplant hearts and we can do all kinds of snazzy care; can't we also do some really good primary and preventive care?" she tells HealthLeaders.

Although Summers says the demo is promising, "it's a demo," she says. "It is a drop in the bucket when you compare it to graduate medical education. And while we've had a lot of attention and success in the Affordable Care Act, there are areas where we're still pretty frustrated."

Summers' running list of organizations calling for the expansion of APRN's scope of practice includes the Baker Institute, the National Center for Policy Analysis, the Institute of Medicine, and the Bipartisan Quality Center.

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