Scope of Practice

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Scope of practice describes the services that a health professional who is educated / trained and deemed competent to perform; and for some professions, depicts under what conditions the services may be delivered.

Currently, all healthcare licensure is state-based with some variability between states related to qualifications for licensure / re-licensure. Defining practice is generally a two-step process beginning with the state legislature passing a law and regulatory bodies creating and implementing rules and regulations, all of which is intended to protect the public.

Changes in scope of practice and overlapping responsibilities are inevitable in our current and future health care system. ANA believes that patients’ interests are best served by a healthcare system in which many different types of qualified healthcare professionals are available, accessible, and work collaboratively together. In 2006, the Coalition for Patient’s Rights (CPR) was formed and consist of more than 35 organizations representing a variety of licensed health care professionals who provide a diverse array of safe, effective, and affordable health care services. The coalition works to ensure that patients have direct access to a range of services offered by the healthcare providers of their choice. Learn more about the CPR here.

It is critical the evolution of health care roles achieve improved access to safe, quality care. ANA monitors scope of practice legislative and regulatory efforts, with particular attention to: