AANP's Positions and Papers

See Where Your Nurse Practitioner (NP) Community Stands

You instinctively advocate for your patients, but legislative and political advocacy is no less important to advancing your role as an NP and ensuring excellence in patient care. Position statements and papers are designed to guide and amplify the views of NPs while educating consumers and decision-makers. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) has outlined a number of positions on issues of importance for NPs nationwide.

For further information, AANP discussion papers offer pros and cons to enhance understanding and encourage continued discussion. AANP also offers a number of members-only clinical practice briefs, which are designed to offer evidence-based guidelines and to support NPs in clinical practice.

  • Position Statements

    APRN Compact Licensure

    The APRN Compact for multistate licensure was adopted by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) in August 2020. Review AANP's position on the the revised compact.

    View APRN Compact Licensure Position

    Mandated Residency and Fellowship Training

    All NPs must complete a master's or doctoral degree program and have advanced clinical training beyond their initial professional registered nurse (RN) preparation. They undergo rigorous national certification, periodic peer review, clinical outcome evaluations and adhere to a code for ethical practices. View AANP's position on mandated residencies and fellowships for NPs.

    View Mandated Residency and Fellowship Training Position

    NP Education

    The cornerstone of NP practice is robust academic and clinical preparation. To that end, AANP believes and affirms that quality of NP preparation is comprised and grounded by these requirements.

    View NP Education Position

    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

    Adequate access to proper PPE is essential to protecting patients and all health care providers. Learn more about why AANP supports equipping health care providers with proper PPE.

    View PPE Position

    Prescriptive Authority

    Prescribing medications, devices, treatments and modalities is a central component of NP practice. Discover why AANP advocates that NPs have unlimited prescriptive authority in their scope of practice.

    View Prescriptive Authority Position

    Team-based Care

    Team-based care is a systems approach to health care delivery. See AANP's position on the implementation of integrated, multidisciplinary team-based approaches to health care.

    View Team-based Care Position

    Telehealth

    Technology has advanced substantially in recent decades, leading to an increase in health tech services such a telehealth. Take a look at AANP's position on the use of the term telehealth and NPs' use of this important technology.

    View Telehealth Position

    Therapeutic Use of Marijuana

    NPs are the health care provider of choice for millions of patients, many of whom are interested in the therapeutic use of marijuana and related compounds. Learn AANP's stance on marijuana in health care.

    View Therapeutic Use of Marijuana Position

  • Position Papers

    Clinical Outcomes: The Yardstick of Educational Effectiveness

    Educational preparation for NPs differs from that of other health care professionals. Discover why outcomes are the best way to evaluate clinician education and measure clinical success and patient safety.

    View Educational Effectiveness Position

    Commitment to Addressing Health Care Disparities During COVID-19

    As a professional home for NPs, AANP is committed to empowering all NPs to advance high-quality, equitable care while addressing health care disparities through practice, education, advocacy, research and leadership (PEARL).

    View Health Care Disparities Paper

    Nurse Practitioner Cost Effectiveness

    A solid body of evidence demonstrates that NPs have consistently proven to be cost-effective providers of high-quality care for almost 50 years. Explore the many different examples of NP cost effectiveness in this position statement.

    View Cost Effectiveness Position

    Nurse Practitioners in Primary Care

    NPs are committed to providing primary care. Gain insight into how NPs are vital to primary care delivery and the role they play in making high-quality, patient-centered health care available to the broadest possible range of consumers.

    View NPs in Primary Care Position

    Standards for Nurse Practitioner Practice in Retail-based Clinics

    Health care is moving to make care more convenient and local to where patients live and work, and retail-based clinics are playing a larger role. See a discussion of the standards AANP recommends for retail-based clinics.

    View Retail-based Clinics Standards Position

    Use of Terms Such as Mid-level Provider and Physician Extender

    Getting terminology right is key to getting health care right. Some terms, such as mid-level provider or physician extender, are inaccurate and misleading to the public when referring to NPs. Gain an understanding of why AANP endorses clear title use for NPs.

    View Use of Terms Position

  • Discussion Papers

    Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

    The evolution of existing master’s programs to doctoral programs can strengthen programs and NP practice. Read AANP's position on the shift in the academic preparation of nurses in advanced practice.

    View DNP Paper

    Nurse Practitioner Curriculum

    NPs must complete an accredited graduate program and achieve advanced clinical training beyond their initial professional registered nurse preparation. Read AANP’s affirmation of core elements in NP curriculum.

    View NP Curriculum Paper

    Quality of Nurse Practitioner Practice

    The body of literature supports the position that NPs provide safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, equitable and evidenced-based care. Review the summary of research supporting the value NPs bring to their patients.

    View NP Quality Paper

    Scope of Practice for Nurse Practitioners

    As licensed, independent clinicians, NPs practice autonomously and in coordination with health care professionals and other individuals. Learn more with this overview of the role, education, accountability, and responsibility of NPs.

    View Scope of Practice Position

    Standards of Practice for Nurse Practitioners

    Whether you are just starting your path to becoming an NP, have been practicing for decades or are simply interested in NP practice, gain valuable information about NPs with this overview of AANP-developed Standards of Practice.

    View Standards of Practice Paper

  • Clinical Practice Briefs

    2013 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Guideline on Lifestyle Management to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk

    The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) recently released several guidelines to prevent cardiovascular diseases and improve the management of these diseases.

    View the Practice Brief

    American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology/Heart Rhythm Society Guideline for the Management of Patients With Atrial Fibrillation

    These 2014 recommendations from the American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Cardiology (ACC) and Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) explore atrial fibrillation (AF), a supraventricular tachycardia characterized by uncoordinated atrial activation and ineffective contraction.

    View the Practice Brief

    Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Summary

    Among the multiple published professional breast cancer screening guidelines, three commonly used guidelines are summarized here: the American Cancer Society (ACS), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines.

    View the Practice Brief

    Clinical Practice Guideline: Allergic Rhinitis

    The purpose of the guideline, developed by the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, is to discuss quality improvement for all clinicians and to promote accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

    View the Practice Brief

    Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines Summary

    Among the multiple published professional colorectal cancer screening guidelines, two widely used guidelines are summarized here: the American Cancer Society (ACS) and United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines.

    View the Practice Brief

    Genetic Counseling and Testing by Advanced Practice Providers

    In an online search through the National Guideline Clearinghouse, only two general non-disease-specific guidelines out of more than 100 different clinical guidelines address genetic counseling and testing.

    View the Practice Brief

    Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management and Prevention of COPD, Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) 2020

    The original Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease* (GOLD) was released in 2001 and was revised in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020, based on scientific literature. The 2020 report follows the same model as previous reports.

    View the Practice Brief

    Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults

    This long-awaited updated guideline on the management of hypertension in adults differs from its predecessor (Seventh Joint National Committee [JNC 7]) in a number of ways.

    View the Practice Brief

    Measles: Recommendations for Assessment, Treatment and Prevention

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidance for health care providers on the assessment, treatment and prevention of measles in Measles for Healthcare Professionals.

    View the Practice Brief

    Menopausal Symptoms: Comparative Effectiveness of Therapies

    The Agency for Quality Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) published a report from 2015 comparing effectiveness of therapies for menopausal symptoms.

    View the Practice Brief

    Opioids for Chronic, Non-cancer Pain: A Position Paper of the American Academy of Neurology

    AAN has reviewed the literature and issued a position paper regarding long-term use of opioids in the treatment of non-cancer pain. This review summarizes the position paper as it has direct application for advanced nursing practice.

    View the Practice Brief

    Pharmacological Management of Obesity: Obesity Management Association (OMA) 2020 Obesity Algorithm

    The OMA 2020 Obesity Algorithm discusses the management of obesity and includes pharmacologic guidance as an adjunct in the foundational treatment of obesity: diet, activity and behavioral interventions.

    View the Practice Brief

    Practice Guideline Update: Acute Treatment of Migraine in Children and Adolescents

    The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) provides multidisciplinary clinical practice guidelines based on evidence-based practice, including these on counseling, diagnosis, evaluation, management and treatment for acute migraine in children and adolescents.

    View the Practice Brief

    Practice Guideline Update: Preventive Treatment of Migraine in Children and Adolescents

    AAN provides multidisciplinary clinical practice guidelines based on evidence-based practice, including these best practices on counseling, diagnosis, evaluation, management and treatment for preventive migraine in children and adolescents.

    View the Practice Brief

    Practice Parameter for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder

    A recently updated practice parameter from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) offers revised guidelines for assessing and treating children and adolescents (at or younger than 17 years of age) with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

    View the Practice Brief

    Primary Care Diagnosis and Management of Adults With Depression

    The 2014 updated guideline was compiled by the Michigan Quality improvement Consortium. The recommendations were drawn from a synthesis of published studies, existing protocols and national guidelines.

    View the Practice Brief

    Primary Care Management of Headaches in Adults

    Toward Optimized Practice (TOP) of Alberta, Canada, provides multidisciplinary clinical practice guidelines that are based on evidence-based practice.

    View the Practice Brief

    Sleep Disorder Management Diagnostic Treatment Guidelines Summary

    AIM Specialty Health® (AIM) issued updated guidelines on polysomnography and home sleep testing in 2019. AIM promotes safe, cost-effective and appropriate specialty services. Guidelines are devised based on grading of evidence.

    View the Practice Brief

    Strategies to Prevent Clostridium Difficile Infections in Acute Care Hospitals: 2014 Update

    The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) along with the American Hospital Association and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) have collaborated in updating these guidelines.

    View the Practice Brief

  • Definitions

    Position Statement

    Position statements are designed to be short, concise documents that offer a clearly outlined stance taken by AANP on a particular topic or topics relevant to NP practice, health policy, the NP role or other health-related topics. As such, position statements do not include supporting information and discussion, citations or bibliographies.

    Position Paper

    Position papers offer a more in-depth view of the positions outlined in AANP’s position statements. Position papers may include bipartisan discussion on a particular topic or topics, historical and background information, references, facts, figures and bibliographies for additional suggested reading. Position papers may set forth AANP’s stance on certain topics but seek to offer a more comprehensive look at the issues and rationale.

    Discussion Paper

    Discussion papers, unlike position statements and position papers, do not provide guidance on AANP’s official stance on a certain topic or topics. Instead, discussion papers are designed to present and discuss the issues surrounding a topic in an effort to be inclusive of multiple opinions and viewpoints. In some instances, discussion papers may be used as a first step in the development of an official AANP position paper or position statement.

    Clinical Practice Brief

    Clinical practice briefs offer a brief summary of published clinical practice guidelines and research-based approaches that promote best practices and standards of care among all NPs.