At the moment, there are many different nursing organizations. Board of Nursing and professional nursing organizations serve the same purpose, but they differ in their structure, origin, and purpose.
In general, it can be noted that the Board of Nursing is, first of all, a state structure. Accordingly, their goal and objective are to regulate the activities of nurses in the states. Each of these Boards ensures that nurses provide competent care to their patients, i.e., had the proper education, qualifications, and permissions. These organizations are designed to protect public health by organizing surveillance of nurses. However, the Boards are not opposed to nurses, even though they impose restrictions on them. At the same time, these organizations provide legal advice to nurses and also help them get the protection of their rights during their scope of practice.
On the other hand, professional nursing organizations are not public but private. While Boards of Nursing is more focused on protecting the public and regulating the behavior of nurses, associations defend the interests of the nurses. If government agencies impose various restrictions, then professional structures help nurses to assert their rights and advance in their profession.
However, such support is not provided free of charge, as these communities are private; therefore, nurses have to pay specific fees for membership. Also, such organizations, unlike state ones, can participate in the development of bills and defend the rights of nurses politically. Nevertheless, despite the differences, which are mostly in the structure, both organizations are inherently designed to make life easier for nurses and provide residents of the country with quality and competent nursing care.
The Board of Nursing in the District of Columbia is a part of the State Department of Health and is located in Washington at 899 North Capitol Street, NE. The main task of this council is to register and issue licenses for nurses of various qualifications: from Home Health Aides (HHA) to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN). The council consists of 11 members, nine of whom are nurses with different levels of authority, and two more are consumer members. All but the last two members are current nurses and have varying degrees. Meedie Bardonille, a registered nurse, is the chairman of the board, and there is also a vice-chairman title, which is held by registered nurse LaVerne Plater.
As mentioned above, 9 out of 11 members of the Board of Nursing are registered nurses and have varying degrees. This Board itself regulates the learning process for various educational nursing programs, such as Home Health Aid, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, Nursing Assistive Personnel. Hence, the council members are also representatives of different levels and areas of nursing.
Credentials held by nurses range from Nursing Fellowship (or FAAN) and bachelor’s degree (BSN) to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy). Thus, the composition of the Board of Nursing is exceptionally diverse, and its members are experts in various fields. This is partly due to the fact that the Mayor directly appoints the members of the Board, coordinating and receiving confirmation from the District of Columbia Council.
One of the significant health bills recently passed is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This bill is one of the most significant healthcare reforms in the last half-century. It is designed to increase the quality of life insurance for citizens and make insurance more affordable. The primary provision of the ACA is the introduction of mandatory purchase health insurance if citizens do not have one.
Subsidies were provided to facilitate access to coverage, and it was also planned to regulate the insurance sector by setting threshold rates and introducing administrative liability. Ultimately, the ACA was to become the long-awaited healthcare reform, the advent of which was to mean the transition from a fee-for-service system to an insurance system based on values and quality services.
Unfortunately, in recent years the situation has radically changed. Firstly, even at the stage of adoption of the law, a broad protest movement arose, stating that the new insurance standards would only significantly increase budget expenditures, without bringing the desired results.
However, this bill brought positive results, since from 2013 to 2014, the number of insured Americans increased significantly. Still, due to disagreements between the Republicans and the Democrats, the planned activities were carried out without coordination and not in full, which reduced the effectiveness of the reform. Ultimately, in 2017, the process of canceling this reform was initiated, which was actively supported by Donald Trump. During this process, some of the main provisions of this bill were abolished, which nullified its possible development.
DC Nurse Practice Act is a vast document that stipulates all the details of the work of nurses in all areas of their activity, at any degrees and positions. It also approves the procedure for regulating their actions by the State. According to the official websites of the State, since the adoption of this act on August 8, 2013, no changes were made to the general procedure for the work of nurses. The changes concerned only specialized areas of practice.
Thus, this Nurse Practice Act primarily approves and enforces the rights of a nurse in the District of Columbia. This is its primary influence on the position of nurses. Although this bill does not specify direct salaries for nurses, however, there are indications of what nurses can do, what rights they have, thereby indirectly regulating people’s access to health care and the delivery of nursing services.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) Signing Authority is a document that introduces a small but significant amendment to the set of rules governing the behavior of APRNs. This statement, adopted in 2018, allows nurses of this profile to sign, certify and stamp all documents that require a physician’s signature in the absence of this person. The documents approved by a nurse must be within the scope of their practice.
This paper directly affects the activities of APRNs, expanding their capabilities. Since this innovation allows nurses to replace the physician, in general, for citizens, this leads to a simplification of interaction with the healthcare system. Since they will not need to wait for a doctor’s signature separately, this innovation simultaneously reduces the cost of healthcare for a person and improves delivery and access to these services.
Board of Nursing. (n.d.). Web.
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). (n.d.). Web.
Robinson, Michael D. (2019). To improve patient access to high-quality healthcare outcomes at lower costs, the federal health fraud laws need to be changed and simplified. Journal of Health Care Finance, 46(1), 1-11.
What’s the Difference Between Nursing Boards and Nursing Associations? (2017). MidlevelU. Web.