AG issues advisory opinion regarding CNPs and acute care practice
The Ohio Attorney General (AG) issued an advisory opinion, dated July 19, 2017, in response to a question from the Ohio Board of Nursing (OBN) regarding whether a certified nurse practitioner (CNP) who is not nationally certified in acute care may engage in acute care practice1 based on post-graduate clinical experience obtained in the course of employment and training incident to that employment.
The answer to this question is of importance to many Ohio hospitals that permit CNPs with national certifications other than acute care to practice in the hospital setting.
The AG advised that:
- A CNP may provide services for acute illnesses so long as the services are consistent with the nurse’s formal education, clinical experience and national certification, and the services are provided in accordance with rules adopted by the OBN.
- Whether a CNP who is not nationally certified in acute care may engage in acute care practice based upon post-graduate clinical experience obtained in the course of employment and training incident to that employment shall be determined by the OBN. [Emphasis added]
- The OBN may require a CNP to obtain national certification in acute care if the OBN determines that the certification is necessary to document that the CNP has the requisite education, knowledge, skills and abilities to engage in acute care practice.
How the OBN will respond to the opinion remains to be seen. A link to the full opinion is provided here.
1 As defined in the OBN letter to the AG, “acute care practice” refers to the “diagnosis of acute conditions and/or management of unstable or critically ill patients.