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Certification and Licensure Plan

Now that you are in the final course in your program, it is time to turn in earnest to preparing for certification and licensure. You will need to take and pass the national PMHNP certification exam. Once certified, you will then be eligible to apply for licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) in the state desired. It will be up to you to ensure you are knowledgeable about the practice agreements, scope of practice, and prescriptive authority in your state.

Although a movement called the APRN Consensus Model is attempting to standardize NP regulations nationally, it is still the case that requirements vary state to state. In some states, NPs may establish an independent practice without the supervision of an MD. Additionally, states are currently categorized as either allowing full practice, reduced practice, or restricted practice. Full practice states allow NPs to evaluate, order diagnostics, diagnose, and treat patients. They are licensed under the exclusive authority of the state board of nursing for the appropriate state. Many states may require prescriptive authority protocols in addition to collaborative agreement.

Another important area to consider and plan for is prescriptive authority. The appropriate board, which may be the medical board, state board of pharmacy, or nursing board, grants prescriptive authority under state law for the appropriate state licensure. The federal government grants the authority to write for a controlled substance, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) verifies this action through by the appropriate state board. Drug Enforcement Agency registration is granted at the federal level and has additional requirements/fees for the registration process.

In this Discussion, you will locate and review the practice agreements in the state in which you plan to practice, identify potential collaboration requirements in your state, and understand the certification and licensing process that you will need to follow.

To Prepare:
  • Review practice agreements in your state.
  • Identify whether your state requires physician collaboration or supervision for nurse practitioners, and if so, what those requirements are.
  • Research the following:
    • How do you get certified and licensed as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in your state?
    • What is the application process for certification in your state?
    • What is your state’s board of nursing website?
    • How does your state define the scope of practice of a nurse practitioner?
    • What is included in your state practice agreement?
    • How do you get a DEA license?
    • Does your state have a prescription monitoring program (PMP)?
    • How does your state describe a nurse practitioner’s controlled-substance prescriptive authority, and what nurse practitioner drug schedules are nurse practitioners authorized to prescribe?
By Day 3 of Week 1

Post a summary of your findings on your state based on the questions listed above. Explain the types of regulations that exist and the barriers that may impact nurse practitioner independent practice in your state. Be specific. Also, describe what surprised you from your research.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6 of Week 1

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on 2 different days in one or more of the ways listed below.

  • Share an insight from having viewed your colleagues’ posts.
  • Suggest additional actions or perspectives.
  • Share insights after comparing state processes, roles, and limitations.
  • Suggest a way to advocate for the profession.
  • Share resources with those who are in your state.

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