Illinois nursing practice Certification and Licensure

Per the Illinois Nurse Practice Act outlined by the Illinois General Assembly (ILGA) (2021), to become certified as an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP), a professional nurse must be licensed in the state of Illinois, be a graduate of a nationally accredited Nurse Practitioner (NP) program, and pass a qualifying examination recognized by the Board of Nursing. The two certifying bodies that provide certification for AGPCNPs are the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) (AANP, 2019). Once the graduate has passed the certifying exam, they should apply to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to obtain their license to practice as an NP in the state of Illinois.

To apply for an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) license in the state of Illinois an individual must create or use their existing login for the IDFPR (2021) website and use their online application, which includes instructions for how to apply: Several documents must be filled out and signed which include the CCA form used to notify the state of any prior felonies or sex offenses that are on their record, and the CT-APN form, which is completed with the applicant’s certification of advanced practice nurse licensure number, date of origination, and expiration date. The applicant can also apply for a temporary permit to practice as an NP, if needed. Finally, applicants must provide documentation that proves their successful completion of a graduate degree or post-master’s certificate in advanced practice nursing and their national certification by AANPCB or ANCC. The cost of the APN application fee is $125.

The Illinois Nurse Practice Act is a statute that defines the scope of practice for APRNs in Illinois. Per Buppert (2021), the act includes authorization for the APRN to provide advanced nursing patient assessment and diagnosis, the ability to order, perform, and interpret diagnostic and therapeutic treatments, procedures, and tests, as well as order and apply medical devices; APRNs may also provide palliative end-of-life care, patient and health education, advanced counseling, and patient advocacy. APRNs also have prescriptive authority and can delegate nursing activities to other medical personal such as a registered nurse or medical assistant.

The ILGA (2021) states that APRNs who work outside a hospital or Ambulatory Surgery Center are required to have a written collaborative agreement with an overseeing physician that will describe the treatments, procedures, and types of care the APRN may provide under that relationship. APRNs who work inside a hospital or Ambulatory Surgery Center do not require a collaboration agreement, and after an APRN has worked 4000 hours and accumulated 250 hours of continuing education, they can apply for “Full Practice Authority”, which will allow them to practice without a collaboration agreement with a physician.

The IDFPR (2021) website outlines how an APRN obtains a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) number: First the APRN must have no felony convictions and have received their state of Illinois APRN license. The APRN is required to have an existing site to practice and live in a state where it is legal for them to prescribe controlled substances. In Illinois, the collaborating physician must outline which schedule of controlled substances the NP is allowed to prescribe, which can be any or all of schedule II, III, IV, or V controlled substances, and include only those medications that are within the scope of the practicing physician. Once the collaboration agreement is finalized and signed by both the APRN and MD, the APRN will apply for a mid-level practitioner-controlled substances license using the paper form downloaded from the IDFPR website (309) Advance Practice Nurse Controlled Substance License. Included in the form is a section called the Notice of Delegated Prescriptive Authority for Controlled Substances that needs to be completed and signed by the collaborating physician. The completed and signed application and fee of $5.00 is then mailed to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Our Illinois state nurse practitioner organization, Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing (ISAPN) (2021), is active in legislative activities such as increasing the use of Telehealth Services and increasing the number of nursing instructors. Past legislative successes for ISAPN include the authority for APRNs to sign death certificates, school physicals, and obtain full practice authority. They continue to advocate on behalf of APRNs for greater practice autonomy and other measures that improve access to health care in our state.

References

American Association of Nurse Practitioners. (2019). Illinois information and resources for Illinois NPs. https://www.aanp.org/advocacy/illinois

Buppert, C. (2021). Nurse practitioner’s business practice and legal guide (7th ed.). Jones & Bartlett.

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. (2021). IDFPR online services portal. https://online-dfpr.micropact.com/Default.aspx

Illinois General Assembly. (2021). Part 1300: Nurse practice act. https://ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/068/06801300sections.html

Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing. (2021). ISAPN legislative history. https://isapn.enpnetwork.com/page/37077-isapn-legislative-history

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