What is an Advance Practice Registered Nurse?

An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) is a registered nurse (RN) who has completed an advanced graduate-level education program and has passed a national certification exam in order to practice as either a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).

An APRN has acquired advanced clinical knowledge and skills to prepare him/her to deliver safe, competent, high quality care to patients and advocate for patients in any health care environment.

South Carolina currently has 2,582 APRNs and 570 APRNs in our state’s graduate programs at Clemson, the University of South Carolina, the Medical University of South Carolina and Francis Marion University.

Why APRNs need more rights

  • By the end of 2014, more than 800,000 new patients will enter the South Carolina health care system under the Affordable Care Act.
  • South Carolina ranks 45th on the national health care report card.
  • South Carolina ranks 33rd for lowest number of primary care physicians and is in the bottom five for unhealthiest states.
  • Parts or all of the 46 counties in South Carolina are designated as medically underserved by the South Carolina DHHS
  • The American Association of Medical Colleges Center for Workforce predicts that there will be a shortage of about 63,000 physicians by 2015, and 130,600 by 2025.
  • The Health Resources and Services Administration estimate that more than 35 million people living within the 5,780 Health Provider Shortage Areas do not receive adequate primary care services.
  • The number of nurse practitioners in the US will increase by 94% by 2015.

The importance of South Carolina’s more than 2,500 APRN

  • 70-80% of SC APRNs provide Primary Care
  • There are 570 APRNs in our states educational programs
  • Sixteen states and the District of Columbia allow APRNs to practice to the full extent of their education and training-diagnosing, prescribing medications, treating, and referring patients. The states that have removed APRN barriers to practice have better health outcomes than South Carolina.

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