Effective Strategies for Achieving Scope of Practice Reform in Pennsylvania

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Abstract

Background:

Current regulatory impediments prohibit advanced practice registered nurses from practicing to their full capacity.

Purpose:

To examine the process of successful removal of scope of practice barriers in Pennsylvania under the Rx4PA legislation introduced in 2007.

Method:

We used qualitative research techniques, including purposeful sampling of participants. Twelve stakeholder informed interviews were conducted between October 2013 and May 2014. Participants were closely involved with the development of the Rx4PA legislation. Thematic content analysis was performed to analyze our interviews.

Discussion:

Interviews identified overarching themes, including the importance of leveraging years of grass roots advocacy, identifying political allies, and recognizing mutually beneficial compromises.

Conclusions:

The combination of timing, careful political maneuvering, and compromise were key to scope of practice reform in Pennsylvania and may be useful strategies for other states seeking similar practice changes.

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