Q How do we ensure that all staff members— including registered nurses, licensed practical and vocational nurses, and assistive technical personnel—are able to practice to the full extent of their license or certification?

A Rebecca L. Johnson, MS, RN, CCRN, PCCN, NPD-BC, replies:

The concept of practicing to the full extent of one’s ability is far from new, but achieving this goal is challenging. The Institute of Medicine’s 2011 Future of Nursing report emphasized the need for nurses to “practice to the full extent of their education and training.” The most recent Future of Nursing report, published in 2021, also cites “practice to the full extent of their education and training” as a goal. Several factors affect what this means: the workplace (location and type of institution), patient acuity levels, the workforce (education levels, training, experience, motivation), scope of practice, and federal regulations. Although there are many...

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