OAAPN President Jesse McClain

A Message from OAAPN President Jesse McClain

Growing up, my father always taught me to speak up if I ever witnessed an injustice; and to never follow the masses if I believed they were wrong.

Over the past year and a half, we have witnessed one specific injustice that we, at OAAPN, feel cannot be ignored. The regulation of specialty practice is an unnecessary restraint on APRNs. The current discussion focuses on primary care and acute care nurse practitioners, but when will it stop?

For the moment, the Ohio Board of Nursing (OBON) is looking to regulate who can take care of certain types of patients and where they can take care of these patients. The fundamental question to ask is “Why?” If you ask the OBON, they do not have any data to support a patient safety issue. If you ask the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) they, too, have no data to support safety issues or sentinel events.

So, I again ask, Why? Who benefits by further regulation?

Not patients – again, there have been no patient safety issues.

Not APRNs – many will have to find new jobs or return to school causing personal and financial strain.

Not the OBON – this would cause a logistical nightmare for an already overworked and understaffed OBON.

Not the hospital systems – Hospitals have a robust credentialing process. This is not just some hospitals as implied at the APRN advisory committee meeting, but all of them. Hospitals risk significant liability if they cannot ensure the competency of their providers. This liability also adds another layer of scrutiny when it comes to an APRN’s scope of practice. As part of the credentialing process, APRNs are required to undergo ongoing practice assessments to ensure they are practicing within their scope. All of these safeguards on top of the Board of Nursing’s own “Decision Making Tool”.  A tool that has worked for years.

When will it stop? Presently, the fight is over what is “an acute illness” or what is “critical care.” Next, will it be what constitutes women’s health or the management of mental health? We have an addiction and a mental health crisis; the last thing Ohio needs is further regulation making it infinitely more difficult for those in need to find care.

The OBON advertises their desire to follow the “Consensus Model.” Within that Consensus Model is a recommendation for Full Practice Authority (FPA) for APRNs.  The Consensus Model also recommends prescriptive authority for CRNAs.  If they choose to adopt the “full” Consensus Model, will the OBON will be out there pushing for APRNs to get FPA and for CRNAs to be able to write orders including medications?

Please speak up for your fellow APRNs. The OBON is trying to fix a problem that does not exist. Please help us speak out against unnecessary overregulation.

Here’s a list of our contacts for the OBON.