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The journey to independent nurse practitioner practice

Rigolosi, Rebecca DNP, ANP-BC1; Salmond, Susan RN, EdD, ANEF, FAAN1

Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners: December 2014 - Volume 26 - Issue 12 - p 649–657
doi: 10.1002/2327-6924.12130

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.

(Adult Nurse Practitioner)


1School of Nursing, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey,

Received 19 December 2013; Accepted 11 March 2014

Correspondence Rebecca Rigolosi, DNP, ANP-BC, School of Nursing, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey 07103. Tel: 917-318-0846; Fax: 201-833-7221; E-mail:

© 2014 American Association of Nurse Practitioners
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