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I reside in the beautiful sunshine State of Florida. The following pertains to the Scope of Practice for an APRN in Florida; Florida has a State requirement called a Collaborative Practice Agreement. CPAs are written contracts between physicians and APRNs. CPAs outline specific tasks that the APRN is allowed to perform. This also includes the type and amount of physician supervision and involvement in care delivered by the NP (Fauteux et al., 2017). In Florida, the APRN must maintain a CPA with a Florida-licensed physician to perform general diagnoses, treat medical conditions, and prescribe medications. Florida statutes state, “a written, signed, mutually agreeable CPA must be maintained at the practice location of the nurse practitioner between a nurse practitioner and a physician or dentist” (Florida Legislature, 2019). In Florida, the concept of CPAs can limit the Practice of the APRN. On the other hand, Mandatory collaboration between Physicians and APRNs can provide many benefits to the patient’s overall well-being.
In Florida, the APRN can prescribe, dispense, administer, or order any drug; however, an APRN may prescribe or distribute a controlled substance only if the advanced practice registered nurse has graduated from a program leading to a master’s or doctoral degree in a clinical nursing specialty area with training in specialized practitioner skills. (Florida Senate, 2022). The APRN only sometimes had this ability in Florida. This new law has been a significant move forward for our respective professions.
In Florida, specific requirements are needed to obtain licensure for an APRN. Florida APRN applicants must hold an active Florida RN license or an active multistate RN license from another jurisdiction, a master’s degree or post-masters certificate in a clinical specialty area, and national advanced practice certification from an approved nursing specialty board. Florida APRNs must also pay a licensure fee. APRNs in Florida must also be insured.
Living in a restricted practice state and being dependent on CPAs can impact care in our local communities. CPAs result in firm contracts needing clarification of collaboration between Physicians and APRNs. CPAs can be associated with high regulatory costs, and the agreements can create barriers to healthcare delivery and competition. (Rudner & Kung, 2017) In my community, three local hospitals and numerous urgent care/walk-in clinics are readily available. Access to APRNs impacts patients by limiting their choices. Thus, healthcare disparities occur. Agreements without terms associated with charges most affected NPs in community settings and those who are self-employed, which decrease options for patient care in novel settings and environments with significant needs. (Ritter, 2020).