Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
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General Information

In North Carolina, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) is an umbrella title for Registered Nurses who are, as defined in the North Carolina Administrative Code (21 NCAC 36.0120(6) ), as Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse-Midwife or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Definition of an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), adapted from the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation*

An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse is a nurse:
  1. Who has completed an accredited graduate-level education program preparing him/her for one of the four recognized Advanced Practice Registered Nurse roles; 
  2. Who has passed a National Certification examination that measures Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, role and population-focused competencies and who maintains continued competence as evidenced by recertification in the role and population through the national certification program; 
  3. Who has acquired advanced clinical knowledge and skills preparing him/her to provide direct care to patients, as well as a component of indirect care; however, the defining factor for all Advanced Practice Registered Nurses is that a significant component of the education and practice focuses on direct care of individuals; 
  4. Whose practice builds on the competencies of Registered Nurses (RN) by demonstrating a greater depth and breadth of knowledge, a greater synthesis of data, increased complexity of skills and interventions, and greater role autonomy; 
  5. Who is educationally prepared to assume responsibility and accountability for health promotion and/or maintenance as well as the assessment, diagnosis, and management of patient problems, which includes the use and prescription of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions; 
  6. Who has clinical experience of sufficient depth and breadth to reflect the advanced practice role.

Additional Information on Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

Controlled Substance Prescribing Information

External Resources on Opioid Safety/Substance Use Disorder

Session Law 2015-241, mandated the creation of the North Carolina OPDAAC which is tasked with developing and implementing a strategic plan to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse.

The campaign outlines real, actionable steps for the safe storage, use and disposal of pain medications, as well as resources for finding treatment and recovery support.



OPIOID Prescribing Alert

Provisions of the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act that limit initial prescriptions for acute pain to 5 days and postsurgical pain prescriptions to 7 days; became effective on January 1, 2018.

For more details, please see the following:

  1. Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (NCBON)
  2. Controlled Substance Prescribing Information
  3. Prescribing-limits focused version of our STOP Act FAQs (NCMB)


Educational opportunities for meeting the requirements to apply for a medication-assisted therapy waiver

Last Changed 9-Mar-2021

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