Advanced Practice Nurses, or APRNs, perform many of the same duties as a physician, which is good news for our state’s health care provider shortage. The bad news for patients is that our current regulatory climate is restricting the ability of APRNs to practice to the full extent of their licensure and training.
Give level playing field to advanced practice nurses
Photo: Eric Kayne /For The Houston Chronicle
Each day thousands of Texas patients see their health care provider for services ranging from the common cold or flu to delivering a new baby to geriatric care to mental health services. And for more and more Texans, it is highly trained and specialized nurses who provide this level of personalized care.
Lawmakers have long recognized APRNs, which include nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, certified nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists, play a crucial role in addressing our state’s growing and changing health care needs. To that end, the state funds several programs to train these specialized nurses and to license and regulate them. After APRNs complete undergraduate and graduate classroom training, graduate specialty clinical training, and complete their state licensure, there’s one last hurdle Texas throws in their way: a “delegation agreement.”