NR718 Advanced Practice Nurse Scope of Practice Essay

NR718 Advanced Practice Nurse Scope of Practice Essay

Advanced practice nurses (APNs) play a vital role in the healthcare system, serving as leaders and providing comprehensive patient care. Their scope of practice varies across different states, including Virginia, and is influenced by regulations that impact healthcare access (Boehning & Punsalan, 2023). This discussion explores the scope of practice for APNs in Virginia and examines how practice restrictions can affect access to healthcare.

The scope of practice for APNs in Virginia is defined by the Nurse Practice Act and the regulations set forth by the Virginia Board of Nursing. APNs in Virginia have the authority to provide comprehensive healthcare services, including the diagnosis, treatment, and management of health conditions (Virginia, 2022). They can order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, and perform procedures within their expertise. APNs in Virginia also have the authority to refer patients to other healthcare providers, collaborate with other healthcare professionals, and engage in health promotion and disease prevention activities.

The restrictions of APNs can significantly impact access to healthcare, especially in states with limited scope of practice. Restrictions on the scope of practice, such as restrictive prescribing authority or limited autonomy, can hinder access to healthcare services (Wheeler et al., 2022). This can be particularly problematic in areas with physician shortages or underserved populations. For example, restrictions on prescribing medications can delay or limit patients’ access to necessary treatments. Similarly, limitations on the ability to diagnose or treat specific conditions may result in delays in care or unnecessary referrals to other healthcare providers. Therefore, healthcare systems can improve access to primary care services, especially in underserved areas, by expanding the scope of practice for APNs.



Virginia. (2022). § 54.1-2957. licensure and practice of nurse practitioners.

Boehning, A. P., & Punsalan, L. D. (2023). Advanced practice nurse roles. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing.

Wheeler, K. J., Miller, M., Pulcini, J., Gray, D., Ladd, E., & Rayens, M. K. (2022). Advanced practice nursing roles, regulation, education, and practice: A global study. Annals of Global Health, 88(1).




The purpose of this discussion is to explore the crucial role of the APN as a leader to impact the scope of practice and regulation.


Review the lesson and readings from this week and respond to the following:

Describe the APN scope of practice in your state.

Examine how APN practice restrictions impact access to healthcare.

Please click on the following link to review the DNP Discussion Guidelines on the Student Resource Center program page:

Link (webpage): DNP Discussion GuidelinesLinks to an external site.

Program Competencies

This discussion enables the student to meet the following program competencies:

Integrates scientific underpinnings into everyday clinical practice. (POs 3, 5)

Applies organizational and system leadership skills to affect systemic changes in corporate culture and to promote continuous improvement in clinical outcomes. (PO 6)

Uses analytic methods to translate critically appraised research and other evidence into clinical scholarship for innovative practice improvements. (POs 3, 5)

Appraises current information systems and technologies to improve health care. (POs 6, 7)

Analyzes health care policies to advocate for equitable health care and social justice to all populations and those at risk due to social determinants of health. (POs 2, 9)

Translates a synthesis of research and population data to support preventative care and improve the nation’s health. (PO 1)

Leads others in professional identity, advanced clinical judgment, systems thinking, resilience, and accountability in selecting, implementing, and evaluating clinical care. (POs 1, 4)

Course Outcomes

This discussion enables the student to meet the following course outcomes:

Identify advanced practice leadership competencies. (PCs 2, 4, 5; POs 2, 6)

Apply various strategies to improve access to quality, cost-effective healthcare. (PCs 5, 7, 8; POs 1, 4, 9)

Utilize translation science to affect evidence-based practice change to impact quality and safety of patient care. (PCs 1, 3; POs 3, 5)

Translate research into clinical practice to provide optimal wellness and disease prevention throughout the patient population. (PCs 1, 3, 5, 7, 8; POs 1, 3, 4, 9)

Critically appraise research as it applies to evidence-based practice to provide the most current and effective care to patient populations. (PCs 1, 3, 5, 8; POs 3, 4, 9)

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