Non-ACNPs Working in Acute Care

The Ohio Attorney General (AG) issued his opinion on July 19, 2017 to the Ohio Board of Nursing on the issue of non-certified acute care nurse practitioners working in acute care environments.  The AG did not find sufficient statutory guidelines to make a definitive opinion.

From the opinion:

“… If the Board of Nursing intends to generally and uniformly apply and enforce a requirement that a certified nurse practitioner shall be nationally certified in acute care in order to provide services for acute illnesses, the board should adopt a rule that expressly states that qualification standard. In promulgating such a rule under R.C. Chapter 119, the board may receive comments from interested parties and consider whether a grace period or an exception to the requirement of national certification in acute care based upon particular post-graduate clinical experience or advanced certification is appropriate…


Based upon the foregoing, it is my opinion, and you are hereby advised that:

  1. Pursuant to R.C. 4723.43(C), an advanced practice registered nurse designated as a certified nurse practitioner may provide services for acute illnesses, so long as the services are consistent with the nurse’s formal education, clinical experience, and national certification, and the services are provided in accordance with rules adopted by the Board of Nursing.
  2. Whether a certified nurse practitioner who is not nationally certified in acute care may engage in acute care practice based upon post-graduate clinical experience obtained in the course of employment and training incident to that employment shall be determined by the Board of Nursing.
  3. The Board of Nursing may require a certified nurse practitioner to obtain national certification in acute care if the Board of Nursing determines that the certification is necessary to document that the certified nurse practitioner has the requisite education, knowledge, skills, and abilities to engage in acute care practice”.

It would seem before the OBON would move in the direction of restriction of NP care in acute care environments, if still desired, a rule would need to be enacted before enforcement could be placed in effect.  It is unknown what the OBON will do with this opinion as it has been most recently received.  OAAPN will update members as more information is known.

Click here to link to letter.