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AAACN States Importance of RNs in Ambulatory Care Settings

Wednesday February 23, 2011
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The American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing has released a position statement on the role of RNs in ambulatory care.

The AAACN Board of Directors approved the statement, “The Role of the Registered Nurse in Ambulatory Care,” after association members reviewed it. The statement notes four key points:

• RNs enhance patient and safety care, and thus are essential and irreplaceable in ambulatory settings.

• RNs are responsible for all aspects of professional nursing services within an organization, and are familiar with and abide by state practice acts and other professional standards.

• RNs provide leadership and coordinator of care and services by delegating tasks as appropriate to LPNs and unlicensed assistive personnel in ambulatory care settings.

• RNs are fully accountable in ambulatory care settings for all nursing services and outcomes of care provided under their direction.

“Due to the increased complexity of care being delivered outside the hospital, it is critical that organizations, healthcare personnel and members of the public recognize the value and importance of having RNs delivering and/or coordinating nursing services in ambulatory care settings,” said Carol Rutenberg, RN-BC, MNSc, C-TNP, chairwoman of the AAACN task force that wrote the statement.

Rutenberg noted that more patients will be accessing care in ambulatory settings under the Affordable Care Act, creating the need for more specialty RNs to coordinate patient care and provide self-care strategies to promote wellness.

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