The role of nurses in the national healthcare system is continually changing, and AACN consistently advocates to ensure that nurses can practice to the full extent of their education and license. We establish the scope and standards for acute and critical care nursing, acute care clinical nurse specialists and acute care nurse practitioners. Below are some of the standards we’ve created and actions we’ve taken. For more information on AACN’s legislative work to protect and enhance nurses’ scope of practice, see the Legislative/Regulatory page.
APRN Scope of Practice in Emergency Care
ENA, AACN, AANP and NAPNAP stand together in our belief that APRNs in emergency care should practice to the full extent of their education and clinical training. Our national organizations strongly oppose the view that emergency care is solely “physician-led” or that physicians should dictate education and practice standards for advanced practice registered nurses.
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Practice
“AACN Scope and Standards for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Practice,” describes and measures the expected level of practice and professional performance for acute care nurse practitioners and offers a practical tool for students, educators and advanced practice nurses caring for high acuity or critically ill patients and their families.
Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice
“AACN Scope and Standards for Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice,” describes the roles and responsibilities of the acute care CNS to develop unique knowledge, skills and abilities to manage a patient’s care across the full continuum of acuity and care services from wellness to illness.
Acute and Critical Care Nursing Practice
“AACN Scope and Standards for Acute and Critical Care Nursing Practice,” describes the practice of nurses who care for acutely or critically ill patients. This publication incorporates the AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care language within the standards and measurement criteria.
Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments
“AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments: A Journey to Excellence,” offers six essential standards for establishing and sustaining healthy work environments. The standards uniquely identify systemic behaviors that are often disregarded, despite growing evidence that they contribute to creating unsafe conditions and obstruct the ability of individuals and organizations to achieve excellence.
Cardiovascular Scope and Standards of Practice
AACN participated in the update and endorsed the American Nurses Association’s “Cardiovascular Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 2nd ed.”
TeleICU Nursing Practice Expert Consensus Statement
The 2018 edition of “AACN TeleICU Nursing Practice: An Expert Consensus Statement Supporting High Acuity, Progressive and Critical Care,” provides hospital leaders and nurses with recommendations, clinical scenarios and a framework to implement, evaluate and improve their evolving teleICU nursing practice.
National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists Educator’s Forum
An AACN liaison attended this academic meeting, held annually to discuss education programs, the issues and concerns of faculty and students. Attending this forum provides AACN with an opportunity to discuss and influence relevant issues specific to CNS education.
Competency Validation for Clinical Nurse Specialists
Liaisons representing AACN contributed to the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) Competency Validation Panel, which discussed the definition of CNSs, legislative and regulatory provisions, curricular recommendations and definition of direct care.
Gerontological Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice
An AACN liaison participated in the work group revising the American Nurses Association’s Gerontological Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice.” AACN also offered comments on the final version.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Education
AACN submitted extensive comments for the public review of the draft “National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists Statement on Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Education,” 3rd edition.