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Demand for APRNs Set to Spike

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 16, 2012

The ANA is focusing its efforts on maintaining Title VIII educational funding for nursing workforce development. In addition, it is hoping to address the huge turnover in RNs, many of whom leave the workforce within two years of graduating from nursing school.

Haebler says that can best be addressed by improving the nursing work environment. "We are always advocating for safe staffing levels, mandatory OT prohibitions, safe patient handling policies, workplace violence prevention programs. All of those factor into the work environment and retaining qualified nurses," she says.

Haebler says ANA is also working to loosen the constraints on scope of practice for APRNs, which was recommended by the Institute of Medicine's The Future of Nursing report.

"Specifically we're talking about things like the supervisory requirements and collaborative practice agreements where the physician who may never see the patient only reviews the records and the APRN is charged to have that agreement with that physician," she says. "We're talking about the limited prescriptive authority where APRNs may only be allowed to prescribe a Schedule II substance for a certain number of days and then the patient has to come back. That is not good for the patient. It is not necessary."

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