Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), including certified nurse practitioners (CNPs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), and certified nurse midwives (CNMs), represent a growing segment of health care professionals who provide care to patients in various settings. Although opportunities for APRNs are expanding, questions about the specific role components and scope of practice have emerged, especially because APRNs, including CNPs, are assuming greater roles in hospitals, acute and critical care, and ambulatory care settings.

The term scope of practice broadly refers to the range of responsibilities that determine the boundaries within which a professional practices. Scope of practice is a term used by state licensing boards for various professions to define the procedures, actions, and processes that are permitted for licensed individuals on the basis of their specific education and experience and their specific demonstrated competency.

Education, certification type, licensure, and regulations defined by individual...

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