By Karen P Williams
Nurses are found in different categories and all are important to the medical field, you will find your APNs, which are Advanced Practical Nurses, and within that realm you will find sub-categories which further define the scope that is covered by a particular nurse. There are CNSs, which are Clinical Nurse Specialists, CNRAs, which are Certified Nurse Anesthetists among others. As important as these nurses are to the medical sector now, they did not always have credibility and their practices were not defined to include specialization as listed above, this was not established until somewhere in the 1970s.
Even though APNs have come a far way since the establishment and definition, many nurses still have issues within the medical sector in regards to their rightful recognition and due payment. These nurses can be found everywhere, from small family practices, to major medical centers and hospitals, yet they are sometimes regarded as inferior in the medical field and that should not be the case, because it is even coming to a point now where APNs will need a doctoral degree as a requirement to practice. Nurses have to go out of their way to prove that they are qualified even when they have already practiced and studied.
It is advisable that nurses should educate themselves about the different medical reimbursement options, such as Medicaid, Medicare and other third party payers, this way they are fully aware of the procedures that are needed to follow in order to get reimbursed properly and timely.
Additionally, it is also recommended that nurses study all the way to the doctoral level, even if it is not currently required in their state or medical facility, this extra advancement will further allow nurses to gain their rightful recognition and prescriptive authority along with the correct payment grade. These nurses offer the same great care to many individuals and are able to make diagnoses as well, it is only right that they are also able to write prescriptions for drugs that are relevant to their specialized field, this way they do not have to delay in attempting to get everything signed off and authorized by a doctor before the patient can begin the process of treatment and cure.
Different states have different regulations and the issues that nurses face will vary from state to state, but the most common issues across the board tend to include prescriptive authority where they are unable to write certain prescriptions if any at all, reimbursement schemes, where there are issues with third party payment companies, scope of practice which limits the nurses and their abilities and titling, which always comes down the nurses not being titled properly and their status being downgraded to seem inferior.
The NCSBN, which is the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, has been working with the Professional Nursing Organization in order to generate a regulatory model for all APNs so that some uniformity can be adapted in all states. Until this has occurred, it is recommended for nurses who like to work in different states verify the scope of practice for each state before taking a job there.
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