A nurse practitioner is one type of advanced practice registered nurse. In order to be licensed as a nurse practitioner, you are required to have additional education, training, and certification. Traditionally, nurse practitioners could be found at medical facilities such as urgent care clinics, but today, more and more patients are turning to nurse practitioners for their primary healthcare needs. Here in Illinois, the number of nurse practitioners have tripled over the past ten years and now number over 12,000.
At one time, nurse practitioners were always required to enter into a collaborative practice agreement with a physician, but that changed a few years ago when the state of Illinois passed a law allowing advanced practice registered nurses to practice independently of doctors. However, there are stringent requirements that must be met in order for them to do so.
Obtaining a Nurse Practitioner License
In order to become a nurse practitioner, a registered nurse must obtain their master’s degree in nursing. They are also required to have a minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care in order to be nationally certified.
Once a nurse obtains their nurse practitioner license, they are required to enter a collaborative practice agreement with a physician. This agreement allows the nurse practitioner to diagnose, provide treatment, and prescribe medications to patients under the supervision of the physician they enter into the agreement with. The agreement stipulates what the rights and responsibilities of each of the parties involved are.
In 2017, Illinois changed the law to now allow nurse practitioners to work without having a collaborative practice agreement with a physician as long as they meet certain requirements. These requirements include having an additional 250 hours of continuing education and at least 4,000 hours of clinical experience following their national certification. Nurse practitioners who practice solo are still not allowed to prescribe opioids and certain other medications without the oversight of a physician and they are not allowed to sign death certificates.
In Illinois, nurses are regulated by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), as well as the Illinois Board of Nursing. There are a number of reasons why either one of these boards could initiate an investigation against a nurse that could result in a license suspension. These reasons include:
Violations of ethical code of conduct
Substance abuse issues
A nurse practitioner who is practicing independently may face even more potential legal issues and disciplinary actions since they are the ones responsible for diagnosing a patient’s medical issue and deciding what treatment the patient should or should not receive.
Contact an Illinois Professional Medical License Attorney
If you are in the nursing field and are facing accusations of wrongdoing, it is imperative to take the necessary steps to protect your license. The most important step is contacting a dedicated Illinois nursing license defense lawyer. Call [[title]] today at [[phone]] to schedule a free and confidential consultation.