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 Nurse.org 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 Nurse.org 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.

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About the author
Sallie Jimenez

Sallie Jimenez 

Sallie Jimenez, who is Content Manager for Healthcare, develops and edits content for OnCourse Learning’s Nurse.com blog, which covers industry news and trends in the nursing profession and healthcare. She also develops content for the OnCourse Learning/Nurse.com Digital Resource Guides. She has more than 22 years of healthcare journalism, content marketing and editing experience.

2 responses to “Texas grants first nurse practitioner full practice authority”

  1. 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.

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