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Advanced Practice Nurse

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Advanced Practice Nurse

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nurse practitioner with patient“The nurse signed the medical record as Sue Jamison APN. What does that mean? I want be sure I have the right expert witness.” Nurse Jamison is an advanced practice nurse.

Advanced practice nurse (APN) is a broad term that could describe one of 4 types of nurses:

• Nurse anesthetist
• Nurse practitioner
• Nurse midwife
• Clinical nurse specialist

Each of these 4 types of nurses practices in an expanded role. What are they allowed to do? The answer is, “It depends.” The scope of practice of advanced practice nurses is defined by a variety of entities.

These include the

1. American Nurses Association and specialty organizations such as the
• American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
• The American College of Nurse-Midwives
• American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
• National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

2. States may regulate the practice of advanced practice nurses through Board of Nursing regulations. Some states have a Board of Midwifery to regulate nurse midwives. The scope of practice of an APN may be expanded or constricted based on inquiries about specific procedures, such as: “May a nurse practitioner inject Botox or perform dermabrasion?”

3. Other groups or boards may influence nursing practice. For example, the American Medical Association viewed nurse practitioners as a threat in the past and encouraged physicians to campaign for laws that restrict their practice.

4. A facility may develop its own policies and procedures to govern what advanced practice nurses may do.

APNs may become certified when they develop a level of expertise in their role and meet the criteria for sitting for a certification exam (often based on the number of hours in clinical practice). These organizations certify advanced practice nurses:

• American Nurses Credentialing Center
• American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
• American Midwifery Certification Board
• Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

The standard of care of an advanced practice nurse reflects their specialized role. As the numbers of advanced practice nurses increased, so did their risk of becoming defendants. It is important to retain an expert whose background matches the defendant’s. Whereas 5 years ago, Med League had a few advanced practice nurse experts, now we have many. Just as an example, we have a database of nurse practitioner nursing experts for cases involving

• addiction nurse practitioners,
• adult nurse practitioners,
• critical care nurse practitioners
• dermatology nurse practitioners,
• emergency department nurse practitioners.
• family nurse practitioners,
• hospitalist nurse practitioners,
• internal medicine nurse practitioners,
• long term care nurse practitioners,
• neonatal nurse practitioners,
• neurology nurse practitioners,
• oncology nurse practitioners,
• pediatric nurse practitioners,
• psychiatric nurse practitioners, and
• trauma nurse practitioners.

Stuck on finding an Medical Expert witness for an advanced practice nursing case? Give us a call. We’re happy to help.

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