Nurse Practitioners

The AAFP position is that the term "nurse practitioner" should be reserved for those who undergo specific training programs following attainment of a Registered Nurse (R.N.) license. Following licensure as an R.N., the nurse desiring to function as a nurse practitioner should be certified rather than licensed as a nurse practitioner.

The nurse practitioner should not function as an independent health practitioner. The AAFP position is that the nurse practitioner should only function in an integrated practice arrangement under the direction and responsible supervision of a practicing, licensed physician. In no instance may duties be delegated to a nurse practitioner for which the supervising physician does not have the appropriate training, experience and demonstrated competence.

The AAFP position is that the training programs preparing nurse practitioners, like the training for all other health care providers, should be constantly monitored to assure the quality of training provided and that the number of graduates reflects demonstrated needs.

The AAFP supports the concept of patient and third-party payment for services of nurse practitioners only where services are provided in an integrated practice arrangement. (1984) (2009 CoD)