1. Discuss Illinois Nurse Practitioner community in terms of scope of practice. Include Illinois scope of practice for Nurse Practitioners including:
o Level of independence of practice Example: **In California, NPs are required to practice under Standardized Procedure Guidelines. If CA is your intended practice state, please provide details on how Standardized Procedures Guidelines are developed in California and an example of a California SPG.
o Prescribing authority
o Any limitations of practice
o Process for obtaining licensure in ILLINOIS
o Certification and education requirements for licensure.
2. If you live in a restricted or reduced practice state, how has patient care been impacted in your local community from these barriers? For instance, is the ED used for primary care? Are the EDs overcrowded with long wait times? Are there urgent care clinics readily available? Is there adequate access to primary care? If you live in a full practice, how has independent practice of the APN resulted in improved patient access to healthcare?
MAKE SURE TO DO ALL WORK BASED ON ILLINOIS.
THE CALIFORNIA INFORMATION WAS JUST AN EXAMPLE
ADD 2 POSSIBLE REPLIES FOR INITIAL DISCUSSION POST
The scope of practice for a nurse practitioner in Illinois entails the nurse practitioner having full practice authority to practice without supervision by a physician or a written collaborative agreement. As a licensed independent practitioner, an NP provides a wide range of services that include diagnosing and managing acute and chronic diseases, complex health issues, disease prevention, health promotion, education, and counseling to individual persons, families, groups, and the community (American Association of Nurse Practitioner, 2019). Nurse practitioners in Illinois can prescribe to patients legend drugs and Schedule II drugs through schedule V controlled substances except per the provisions of Section 1300.465(c)(4). The nurse practitioner, on the other hand, can only prescribe schedule narcotic drugs such as opioids or benzodiazepines in a consultation relationship with a physician. The consultation should be recorded on the Prescription-Monitoring Program website as stated in the Illinois Controlled Substance Act section 316 (Illinois General Assembly, n.d). The consultation records should be made available to the department upon request, but an NP is not expected to file the consultation with the department. Prescription authority is granted after being licensed under the Illinois Controlled Substance Act. Regular APRN license becomes inactive after being issued granted full practice authority.
To become an NP in Illinois, one must obtain a degree from an accredited nurse practitioner program. The program should be accredited by Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate for Education in Nursing. To be licensed, one must engage in 500 hours of supervised practice, present the official graduate transcripts, current RN license number, and national certification from the American Nurse Credentialing Center or from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. To be licensed as an independent nurse practitioner, one must have completed 4,000 hours of clinical experience and 250 training hours, which must be confirmed by the previous supervising physician (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2017). For license renewal, one must engage incomplete 80 hours of continuing education every two years. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, in association with the Illinois Center for Nursing, is in charge of issuing licenses for advanced practice nurses. To obtain prescriptive authority, one must complete 45 contact hours in pharmacology and an additional five graduate contact hours for prescriptive authority for controlled substances.
The independence of advanced practice nurses in Illinois has increased access to care and quality of care. Independent nurse practitioners increase the health care workforce to meet the increasing demand for health care. More than 400 advanced practice nurses have licenses to practice independently, thus increasing the number of primary health care providers. Primary care has therefore become more accessible. It is estimated that 87% of NPs are licensed and certified to provide care and are likely to offer care to rural and underserved regions (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2021). A significant number of studies indicate that nurse practitioner generates patient and health outcomes similar to those of the physicians. Increased access to primary care provided by nurse practitioners has been linked to fewer visits to the emergency rooms, increased patient satisfaction, greater follow-up, increased communication, and decreased hospitalization. Individuals no longer have to travel for long distances to seek primary care, especially for underserved regions that had physician shortages.
Illinois is among the states that have granted full practice authority to nurse practitioners. Scope of practice for the nurse practitioners is as highlighted above with emphasis on prescriptive authority as consultation with physicians is required when prescribing schedule two narcotics and benzodiazepines. It is critical to expanding on the prescription authority and what it entails. The prescription authority of the NP includes prescribing of drugs, selection, ordering, storage, administration, storage, and dispensing of over-the-counter medications, controlled substances, and legendary drugs (Illinois General Assembly, n.d). It is also critical to highlight the requirements for unencumbered Illinois RN eligible for licensure as independent practitioners. RN licensed in another state must complete the Registered Professional Nurse Endorsement Packet. Those that have completed their nursing education from other countries must have their credentials evaluated by an agency known as the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing School. Full practice authority increases access to care by solving the problem of primary care provider shortage not only in Illinois but in other states.