One of the perks of being president is announcing good news. I am excited to share with all of you that the American Nurses Credentialing Center recently launched credentialing for emergency nurse practitioners. This is a project that ENA embarked on with ANCC a few years ago and I am thrilled that it has come to fruition.
For advanced practice RNs, credentialing by portfolio is an opportunity to be recognized for meeting the criteria established by emergency nurse practitioner peers as having the skills and knowledge required to practice in the emergency care setting. This is similar to other emergency nurse credentials, such as the CEN or CPEN certifications, though the method is a bit different. To be considered for credentialing, the APRN must submit a portfolio of information about his or her practice hours, professional development information, evaluation forms, résumé and exemplar narratives. I can assure you that it is not easy.
The role of APRNs in health care in America is expanding and will likely impact both the cost and type of care experienced by millions of people in the U.S. The Affordable Care Act will extend health care coverage to approximately 30 million more individuals, most of whom have not been able to afford health insurance in the past. It is predicted that there will not be enough physicians to provide care for all of these people. People will continue to present to emergency departments for care. Using APRNs in the emergency department, according to research, increases patient choices, reduces wait times, improves patient access and relieves pressure on the medical staff.
I think the use of emergency nurse practitioners will only increase in EDs in the next several years. Some physicians feel threatened by ENPs. What do you think? Can ENPs and ED MDs work side by side? Are you using ENPs in your ED?