The journey to independent nurse practitioner practice

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Purpose:The aim is to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the journey of states that achieved independent nurse practitioner (NP) practice from 2007 to 2011.Data sources:Qualitative, retrospective, descriptive study with interviews of NP state leaders in those states as well as literature review.Conclusions:There are key strategies that should be utilized by states when attempting to pass independent NP practice legislation. Strategies that have been tried and tested by states that have successfully passed legislation are collated and presented.Implications for practice:Data from key national movements and legislation with release of the 2010 Institute of Medicine Report The Future of Nursing and the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act add weight and supportive context to the independent NP legislative process, and were used in addition to and as groundwork for arguments and evidence of a national trend toward increasing access to primary care services and decreasing barriers to practice. Kingdon's model illustrates these research findings and suggests the open window for policy change is now.

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