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Reply to your classmates. Your reply posts should compare and contrast your state compared to another state you are reviewing.
Your response should include evidence-based research to support your statements using proper citations and APA format
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPS) play a significant role in promoting the mental health of individuals in their communities. To qualify as a PMHNP, one must undergo intensive training, including a master’s degree specializing in mental health. The intensive training adequately prepares them to effectively practice within their scope of practice, which encompasses performing advanced assessments, diagnosing, prescribing drugs and planning the management of people with mental health disorders (Chapman, Toretsky & Phoenix, 2019). Unfortunately, the authority of PMHNPs to practice to their maximum scope is determined by state and federal regulations, with some states being more accommodative than others. Although there has been substantial progress across states to remove barriers that prevent nurse practitioners from exercising their full scope of practice, some states remain adamant about allowing APRNs to practice (Phoenix & Chapman, 2020).
In Massachusetts, where I am from, APRNs, including PMHNPs, were granted full practice authority in 2021, making it the twenty-third state to allow nurse practitioners to practice independently. The enactment of the legislation was great news to nursing practitioners who can now practice independently without requiring any supervision or collaboration with physicians (Stephens, 2021). The move to allow APRNs to practice independently does not present any barrier in the provision of mental health services; rather, it actually improves the coverage and access of mental health care services as PMHNPs can easily provide those services, especially to the unprivileged and to those in rural areas with a limited number of psychiatrists.
Studies show nurse practitioners are fully capable of providing safe and effective care without requiring any physician supervision. Moreover, granting APRNs full practice authority increases the accessibility of healthcare services at reduced costs (Chapman et al., 2019). Therefore for PMHNPs to make a maximum contribution to the country’s mental health wellness, there is a need to have a uniform regulatory framework for all nurse practitioners to have full practice authority.
The aim of this discussion will review Arizona’s current scope of practice for the role of the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) and identify barriers to mental health care practice regulations. In addition, the discussion will examine Arizona’s scope of practice regulation that may impact different groups or cultures.
As a nurse practitioner in Arizona, they may practice autonomously and practice as a primary care provider as part of the scope of practice (Arizona State Board of Licensing, 2018; Arizona Scope of Practice Policy, 2022; Wiesen, 2022). NPs’ in Arizona are not required to be under direct supervision nor work in collaboration with physicians to assess, diagnose, and treat patients (Az. State Board of Licensing, 2018; Az Scope of Practice Policy, 2022; Wiesen,2022). Furthermore, NPs’ have the authority to prescribe medication, including those in classes II through V (Az. State Board of Licensing, 2018; Az. Scope of Practice Policy, 2022; Wiesen, 2022). Physical therapy, death certificates, and disability placards can be ordered and signed by NPs’ practicing in Az. (Az. State Board of Licensing, 2018; Az. Scope of Practice Policy, 2022; Wiesen, 2022). Also, NP’s ability to sign physician orders for life-sustaining treatment (POLST) forms is not regulated, therefore NPs can have authority in signing for POLST orders (Az. State Board of Licensing, 2018; Az. Scope of Practice Policy, 2022; Wiesen, 2022). The NP regulations do not pose a barrier to mental health care but add an advantage to serving racial and ethnic minorities that are disproportionately affected by mental illness (Cook et al., 2019).
Among the racial and ethnic minorities, mental illness is prevalent and contributes substantially to the global burden of disease (Cook et al., 2019). A growing disparity in access to mental health care has emerged among Native Americans, Blacks, and Hispanics compared to whites (Cook et al., 2019). Therefore, an advantage of the ease of practicing autonomously and as a primary provide may increase the workforce diversity, and promotion of the profession strengthening the likelihood of increased access to mental health services for vulnerable populations (Cook et al., 2019; Tierney, 2021).