According to the American Nurses Association (ANA) (2012), an APRN is defined by the Nurse Practice Act and is governed by the board of nursing. Given that there are large variations between related state statutes, rules, and regulations for the APRN, it is important that the APRN have a clear understanding of their scope of practice defined by those laws and regulations. Legal authority to prescribe has been granted to NPs in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Independence among the NPs prescriptive authority may vary and in some states, words other than “prescribe” are used. These states may use the words “furnish” or “order”. In 49 states, NPs may prescribe controlled substances. For the NP to prescribe controlled substances, they must register with the DEA and obtain a DEA number which is used on all prescriptions for scheduled drugs. The NP has general guidelines set up by the ANA and is strongly encouraged to follow these guidelines when prescribing to their patients. According to Buppert (2008), NPs have limited prescriptive authority approved by committee and some may have authority to prescribe or distribute controlled substances on an individual practice basis. In this case, the collaborating physician’s name and office address must be on the prescription. Louisiana has specific requirements for prescriptive authority that include: 1. RN Licensure
2. APRN Licensure
3. 500 Hrs. of clinical practice as a licensed APRN within 6 months preceding application 4. 36 hrs. of education in pharmacotherapeutics
5. 12 hrs. of pathophysiology
6. Collaborative practice agreement
7. Every year, 6 hrs. of continuing education in pharmacology or pharmacologic management
Buppert, C., (2008) Nurse practitioner’s business practice and legal guide. 3rd ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers. Retrieved September 27, 2012 from htttp://www.nursingworld.org/statelawandregulation.
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