State Regulations for Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Prescribers in California

Review state regulations for Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) prescribers in the state in which you live or the state where you plan to be certified.

  • Summarize which agency/agencies regulate/oversee Advanced Practice Registered Nurse prescribing in your state.
  • Summarize the educational requirements for prescribing as an APRN
  • Differentiate the regulations in your current state and state(s) you are considering practicing in.
  • Create an outline of the actions required to prescribe in your identified state.
  • Summarize the Controlled Substances regulations in your state and the process for obtaining your DEA registration.

State Regulations for Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Prescribers In California – Sample Paper

The State of California Board of Registered Nursing

            Prescribing for an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in California is overseen and regulated by the state’s board of registered nursing. The board is responsible for outlining the scope of practice for nursing practitioners and skills required to practice in the state. Additional competencies such as psycho-social assessment and physical diagnosis of various ailments are reviewed by the board to ensure that they conform to standards set by the State of California. An APRN’s skills must, therefore, be in tandem with the California Code of Regulations to assure patients of accountability and adherence to the highest standards of care (California Board of Registered Nursing, 2019).

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The board also stipulates the capacity under which an APRN can serve as a health professional and the list of standardized procedures they will be allowed to conduct in the state. Primary health care takes precedence in the state which is why restorative measures and mental assessment are encouraged as essential skills. The board is responsible for overseeing the order of medical equipment which now becomes the responsibility of a registered nurse (RN). Furthermore, they will also be responsible for certifying disability in patients after performing a thorough physical examination. The board also stipulates standards that should be adhered to in the case of patients receiving home health services from APRN’s.

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Educational Requirements for Prescribing as an APRN

APRN’s are tasked with providing essential primary health care services which is why educational requirements are always underscored. Advanced degrees such as a Doctor of Nursing Practice and Master of Science in Nursing are a basic requirement for all candidates seeking to serve as APRN’s. Additionally, it is prudent for candidates to obtain a national certification to practice in combination with state APRN licensure. Institutions of higher learning have also been known to offer bridge programs which allow individuals with associate degrees to earn their credentials and eventually serve as APRNs. The entire process of certification may be completed within a year after proving that the candidate has satisfied the mandatory 400 to 1,000 clinical hours required.

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It is critical to acknowledge that the State of California also certifies candidates with online nursing degrees given that they are obtained from acclaimed institutions. Candidates must be holders of a BSN from a reputable institution and provide sufficient proof proving they completed transitional coursework. Successful candidates are then placed under rigorous assessment requiring them to provide academic transcripts, GRE scores and recommendation letters. Adult-gerontology, midwifery, nurse anesthesiology, psychiatric health and neonatology are some of the main areas where APRN’s can concentrate on when seeking to earn their MSN degree. After completing their program in two years, they will then be required to prove their full-time commitment to the profession by proving their clinical eligibility.

Difference in Regulations in the State of California and Nevada

There are several stark differences in regulations within the State of California and Las Vegas, Nevada where I intend to practice in the near future.  Regulations in the State of California adhere to the Nursing Practice Act which is tasked with delineating the scope of practice for all qualified APRNs. Section 2700 of the California Business and Professions Code defines professional activities that APRNs can engage in as determined by the State of California Board of Registered Nursing (Justia US Law, 2018). California’s Nursing Practice Act is responsible for shaping the scope of practice by providing educational standards, board composition and important requirements for licensure.

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Furthermore, the act also goes a step further and outlines requirements for licensure and grounds for remediation. On the other hand, Las Vegas adheres to an updated APRN regulation model which was adopted in 2015. Certified nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), clinical nurse practitioners (CNPs), certified nurse midwives (CNMs) and clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) all have defined roles under this regulation model (“Nevada State Profile,” 2018). All applicants seeking to prescribe as APRNs within the state should hold a graduate degree or a post-masters certification from an accredited institution of higher learning.

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The primary objective of enforcing regulation within the larger State of Nevada is the provision of concise scope of practice for all APRNs while still enhancing the utilization of critical patient services by citizens. Additionally, Nevada promotes a system that champions the presence of an independent prescriptive authority which evaluates the level of education and experience held by APRNs. The Nevada Nurses Association (NNA) is tasked with enforcing the aforementioned regulations while ensuring that an APRN’s role of providing competent healthcare services is always underscored.

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Actions Required to Prescribing in the State of California

Practicing as an APRN in the State of California can only be performed after a series of steps that nursing practitioners must go through to improve their scope of practice. Typically, it begins with application for APRN licensure which will eventually allow successful applicants to practice in the state. This submission is often done alongside a Furnishing Number Application which eventually allows an APRN to prescribe within California. Applicants must verify their knowledge of pharmacology content to ensure that they are conversant with the state’s requirements.  Nursing practitioners must demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the state’s program curriculum while ensuring that it is in tandem with the educational requirements. Prescribing within the State of California for APRNs also requires obtaining a DEA number. This allows them to prescribe a host of controlled substances while remaining true to the original aim of meeting education objectives. Applicants are also required to complete a mandatory prescribing course focusing exclusively on approved continuing education. The California Association for Nurse Practitioners is responsible for offering this particular course to applicants before making a final approval (LawTech Group, 2019, p.56). The final action required to prescribing in the State of California is the application of a Schedule II Furnishing License after completion of the requisite education. Successful completion of this stage will ensure that applicants are provided with a completion certificate as per the request. Approval will make sure that nursing practitioners are capable of administering Schedule II medications devoid of any qualms.

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Controlled Substances Regulations in California and Process for Obtaining Drug Enforcement Administration Registration

The State of California is renowned for robust pieces of legislation focusing on the regulation of controlled substances. These substances can only be obtained by individuals through a prescription from a licensed physician. The Business and Professional Code also prohibits clinics from distributing controlled substances without proper authorization from relevant authorities. The state adheres to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s classification of controlled substances with the exception of codeine, paregoric and anabolic steroids (Scope of Practice Policy, 2019)

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Bottom of Form. Schedule I drugs include substances such as salvia, peyote and salvia whose medical use is largely unaccepted within the United States. Schedule II drugs include depressant, narcotics and stimulants with acceptable medical use but with a high potential for dependency. Furthermore, practitioners will also be required to obtain a DEA number which allows them to prescribe scheduled substances legally.  The Drug Enforcement Administration number will only be activate after providing personal information, a report of business activities, licensure information, payment and confirmation of the application.

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