Scope of APRN Practice and Practice Settings Submitted by: Texas Board of Nursing
The Nursing Practice Act and Board rules are written broadly to apply to all nurses, including advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), across all practice settings. Neither are prescriptive to specific tasks or services APRNs may perform or provide. Likewise, they do not address specific practice settings for specific categories of APRNs. Scope of practice is not specific to a practice setting; rather, it is determined by the patient’s condition and patient care needs at the time services are provided. Board Rules 221.12 and 221.13 clarify that education is the foundation for determining APRN scope of practice.
When making scope of practice determinations, it is important to consider the patient's condition and patient care needs. Primary care educated APRNs may provide care in the acute care setting for patients with similar patient care needs and diseases and conditions to those they diagnose and manage in the outpatient setting. For example, a family nurse practitioner may be part of a group practice in a specialty such as orthopedics or palliative care and required to round in an inpatient setting in collaboration with the delegating physician. There is nothing in the Nursing Practice Act or Board Rules that prohibits this practice provided management of the patient’s condition is within the scope of the APRN’s educational preparation.
Although the Board grants APRN licensure titles that are consistent with the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, & Education, it is important to remember that there are APRNs who have been grand-parented under Board Rules. For example, an individual who is licensed as an adult nurse practitioner rather than an adult/gerontology nurse practitioner is still permitted to provide care to geriatric patients based on education in adult health. When reading the Consensus Model, it is important to bear in mind that it contemplates licensure and education based on an APRN role and a population focus. Nothing in the Consensus Model requires scope of practice be specific to a practice setting.