The regulation of our health care is very important to ensure the safety of the public. State boards of nursing are government agencies responsible for regulating nursing practice. They do this through provisions such as initial licensing requirements, standards of practice and delegation, requirements for the RN and LPN educational programs, and APRN standards and requirements for practice and prescribing, disciplinary procedures, and standards for continuing education (Loversidge, 2016). Professional organizations and associations like the American Nurses Association and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing are critical for generating the energy, flow of ideas, and proactive work needed to maintain a healthy profession that advocates for the needs of its clients and nurses, and the trust of society (Matthews, 2012).
Proc and Cons of Credentialing
Credentialing of health care professions is done by various methods including licensure, registration, certification, and recognition. These are all in place to protect the public and protect each professional to ensure they are practicing within their defined scope of practice. Licensure is the most restrictive method of credentialing and requires anyone who practices within the defined scope of practice to obtain the legal authority to do so from the appropriate administrative state agency (Loversidge et al., 2016). For example, nurses obtain licensure by passing the NCLEX. Registration supports the nursing practice as title protection. Some professionals must be registered with their board and meet their registration standards in order to practice. Certification ensures that a professional is competent to practice. In South Dakota, family nurse practitioners must be certified to practice as a NP through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioner (AANP) or the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) (Nursing Licensure, 2017). Several boards of nursing utilize recognition of APRNs stating that they have accepted their credentials for practice. The main weakness of this system is that each state is able to establish its own laws governing the professions and not all states have the same requirements. This is especially evident for nurse practitioners and their ability to practice to their full scope potential.