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Texas grants first nurse practitioner full practice authority

According to an Amarillo Globe-News article published June 7, a nurse practitioner has been granted full practice authority in the state of Texas.

Charlene Seale is a certified nurse practitioner at the Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center in Amarillo.

“I felt very fortunate,” Seale was quoted as saying, about being chosen as the state’s first NP to have full practice authority. “So now we are working with the other 31 nurse practitioners to put them through that same application process and hope to have them through the process by the end of the summer.”

The article went on to say that “though the private sector in Texas is not eligible to grant full practice authority to NPs, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs gave its healthcare systems the ability to do so in December 2016. The Amarillo VA Healthcare System was the first to take this step.”

A June 4 Forbes article looked at the demand for nurse practitioners and at states that are lifting hurdles.

“With the rise of full practice authority in 22 states and the District of Columbia, more patients than ever have direct access to high-quality nurse practitioner care in every setting – including the veterans’ health system,” said American Association of Nurse Practitioners then-president Cindy Cooke, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP, in an AANP press release.

“There are several states also considering full-practice authority, such as North Carolina and Pennsylvania, the AANP said,” according to the Forbes article “The state activity follows last year’s decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs to grant direct access to advanced practice registered nurses,” the article stated.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs document, published in the Federal Register on December. 14, 2016, “the Veterans Health Administration payroll data revealed that, as of August 31, 2016, VHA employs 940 physician anesthesiologists (physicians), 5,444 nurse practitioners, 937 CRNAs and 386 nurse specialists. Nurse practitioner is currently No. 3 in the top 5 difficult to recruit and retain nurse specialties.”

Meanwhile, the AANP announced in early June that there are more than 234,000 licensed nurse practitioners in the country.

“The NP role continues to attract attention and gain recognition with its fourth consecutive appearance on the U.S. News and World Report list of The 100 Best Jobs, this year ranking second,” said Cooke in the press release. “We are proud of the high-quality, patient-centered care that nurse practitioners provide their patients. The demand for these exceptional healthcare providers has never been greater,” she added.

In March, a article looked at states such as Oklahoma, which recently granted nurse practitioners authority to write prescriptions, and South Dakota, which just granted full autonomy to them.

“The nationwide legislative grapevine is sending signals that Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and several other states are also considering loosening up restrictions on nurse practitioners,” the article stated. “It can now be easily predicted that we will eventually see the majority of states in the U.S. granting complete autonomy to nurse practitioners.”

A related article from cited a U.S. News and World Report “Best Jobs Rankings for 2017” as gauging nurse practitioner as the No. 2 best job in the U.S.

“All in all, healthcare is a consistent growth industry that dominates the good news in terms of jobs in the United States, with pharmacists sailing above the rest at No. 1, and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) demonstrating a consistently strong showing in general,” the article stated.

Courses Related to ‘Nurse Practitioner’

CE757: Starting Your Career as an Advanced Practice RN
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The current healthcare environment offers new opportunities and a growing demand for advanced practice registered nurses. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing describes four types of nurses who are considered APRNs: certified nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists. The scope of practice for APRNs varies from state to state. This module will provide initial guidance to an RN who is interested in returning to school to attain an advanced degree and transition to become an APRN.

CE750: Advanced Practice Nurses: Educational Pathways for the APRN Role
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This module provides an overview of the advanced degrees for nursing graduate education and focuses on seeking higher education for the clinical role of the advanced practice registered nurse as a nurse practitioner. It also identifies barriers and resources available for pursuing graduate education and other essential considerations.

60245: Florida ARNPs: Prescribe Controlled Substances Safely and Appropriately
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The Florida Board of Nursing has implemented a three-contact-hour educational requirement on controlled substances prescribing for advanced registered nurse practitioners that needs to be fulfilled before each license renewal, regardless of whether the ARNP intends to become registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. This educational activity will address issues related to the regulation, medical management, misuse, abuse, and diversion of controlled substances prescribed for pain, anxiety disorders, insomnia, attention deficit disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In addition, other commonly prescribed controlled substances will be discussed, including weight-loss medications and testosterone replacement.

By | 2017-07-31T20:55:12+00:00 July 26th, 2017|Categories: Nursing careers and jobs, Nursing specialties|5 Comments

About the Author:

Sallie Jimenez
Sallie Jimenez is content manager for healthcare for published by Relias. She develops and edits content for the blog, which covers industry news and trends in the nursing profession and healthcare. She also develops content for the Digital Editions. She has more than 24 years of healthcare journalism, content marketing and editing experience.


  1. SILAS ORIEDO July 31, 2017 at 6:36 am - Reply a registered nurse in Kenya.happy to note that Nursing is gaining the respect it deserves.

  2. Charlene Seale August 4, 2017 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Great to know the news is reaching far and wide. Nursing is a wonderful profession. So fortunate to be a nurse, I have received much more from the profession that I have given. It is truly a joy.

  3. Konstance Cook-Withers October 11, 2017 at 12:18 am - Reply

    I’m a Californian,
    However, we all need to rally as one voice to lift the legislative restrictions imposed upon us in our individual states that would begin allowing us to practice without restrictions to the full extent of our education and training. This can begin with educating the community and legislative powers about the role of the NP and the benefits that can be afforded to the community as NP’s begin to work under the full extent of their licensure, accreditation, certification, and education. Let’s all unite in this effort.

  4. Leslie August 23, 2018 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    Interesting that the further you go below the Mason Dixon line, the less authority NP’s have to practice the medicine we were educated and trained to practice. I’m surprised we (women) are even allowed to vote. in Texas. Seriously. We need to stand up, push back, and fight for the right to do our job to it’s fullest. Our abilities, education, skill, and success as providers have been proven repeatedly. This is about the AMA bullying nurses out of fear. Physicians are being held accountable now, NP’s are doing an excellent job in medicine, and patients often prefer (we have the studies) NP’s.

  5. Huru October 1, 2018 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    this distinct honor should not be allowed to the new grad I would add… I am in a FNP program with over 20 years bedside nursing experience by the way… the new NP does not have the competency to practice and needs to develop their expertise. this is because we do not have a “residency” program… we are taught to primarily research articles and write papers…

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