Navigating Advanced Practice Roles: Challenges and Opportunities for APRNs in Minnesota


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  • Share an insight from having viewed your colleagues’ posts.
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  • Share insights after comparing state processes, roles, and limitations.
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Navigating Advanced Practice Roles: Challenges and Opportunities for APRNs in Minnesota

In Minnesota, to be able to practice, the student must do so after completing the program from an accredited school, after which the nurse must register to take the board with the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC). After passing, the individual will be eligible to apply to the Minnesota board of nursing to get the Advanced Practiced Registered Nurse License (APRN). To be deemed eligible to take the boards exams in Minnesota,




  • the individual must have an active Registered Nurse licensed in the state of Minnesota
  • The Registered nurse must not hold an expired or suspended license from another state.
  • Most importantly, the registered nurse must have successfully completed graduate-level education from an accredited institution which is approved by the United States Secretary of Education or from a National Council for Higher Education Accreditation acceptable to the Minnesota Board of Nursing.
  • Background studies must be clean (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2020)

In Minnesota, nurse practitioners must have a physician collaboration until specific criteria are met; then, they can be independent. At the start of July 1, 2014, Clinical Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists must complete at least 2,080 hours within a collaborative care management setting working together with a physician, but a written prescribing agreement is not required (MN Board of nursing).

How does your state define the scope of practice of a nurse practitioner?

In Minnesota, APRNs have expanded the scope of nursing practice in at least one advanced practiced role and a specific patient population. The national professional nursing organization provides clear practice guidelines based on the patient populations, but the general scope of practices is not limited to advanced assessment; diagnosing should recognize their knowledge limitations and experience and plan care management in situations of their expertise. APRNs can accept referrals, consult, supervise, and interpret diagnostic testing without CT scans, MRI, X-ray, PET scans, nuclear scans, and mammography (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2020).

Prescriptions of a controlled substance by a nurse practitioner require a DEA license. It can be obtained after completing and passing the ANCC certification exams; an APRN is obligated to apply for a DEA license after acquiring a job so that it can be used as a reference and the address to be used on the license. Using your address to apply for the DEA license is not advisable, as the prescription will carry that address. When a DEA number has been issued, the APRN can prescribe controlled substances and register with the prescription monitoring program (PMP). APRNs can also prescribe controlled substances of schedule II through V in Minnesota.

In Minnesota, a barrier nurse practitioner faces are the lack of public knowledge of the role of their practice. It further pushes into role confusion in the workplace and extends to the public not understanding their competency, roles, and limitations (Lindeke, Grabau, Jukkala, 2004). Also, understanding the complex legal parameters and reimbursement structures has been problematic as it sheds some light on the need for more workplace support for nurse practitioners (Lindeke et al., 2004).

Another barrier that exists is the difficulties faced by the practitioner when trying to launch and build their own practice (Lindeke et al., 2004). Lastly, one barrier that exists is that after obtaining an APRN license, an individual must practice for a whole year under a doctor’s supervision and complete a certain number of hours before being allowed to practice independently.

For more information on the Minnesota board of nursing requirements for APRN, visit to an external site.

Minnesota APRN can practice independently after successfully meeting the required hours. Even though faced with some barriers as their scope of practice can be fully expanded, they are allowed flexibility compared to other states. It could be challenging for APRN to practice across the country as different states have different requirements, which is why an all-around scope of practice is essential to reduce the shortage in rural areas.


American Association of Nurse Practitioners. (2020). State practice environment Links to an external site..

Minnesota ( to an external site.

Lindeke, L. L., Grabau, A. M., & Jukkala, A. J. (2004). Rural NP Perceptions of Barriers to Practice. Nurse Practitioner, 29(8), 50–51. Links to an external site..



Reply Discussion





Reply Discussion

Hey H, am happy to hear from you

Your post on the practice agreements for advanced practice registered nurses in Minnesota is quite informative. The discussion post provides a detailed account of the process of APRN certification and licensure providing a systematic process, which supports the employment of qualified registered nurses in different specialties. From your post, I noted the roles of the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the Minnesota Board of Nursing. The two agencies ensure that the registered nurses qualify for certification after which they can dispense healthcare services as required.

It is interesting to note that, unlike other states, Minnesota does not restrict practice for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). The nurses are only required to enter into a physician collaboration until they meet certain criteria after which they can practice independently. Full practice for APRNs enables them to evaluate patients, make diagnoses, order as well as interpret diagnostic tests, and subsequently initiate treatments among the patients (Ortiz et al., 2018). The relaxation of the APRN practice laws, therefore, ensures that nurse practitioners can meet the demand for primary care services both in rural and urban settings.

Your post addresses a very important concern about nurse practitioners lacking knowledge about their scope of practice. You have also highlighted the lack of understanding of the legal parameters touching on the APRNs’ parameters. Healthcare organizations and relevant stakeholders such as professional nursing organizations like the American Nurses Association among others should carry out sensitization programs or seminars to educate the nurse practitioners and at the same time carry out advocacy.

Advocacy can be carried out through education, sustainable engagement, and mentorship with a mutual agenda (Sharpnack et al., 2022). I agree with you that advocacy for APRNs would not only empower the APRNs to understand their scope of practice but also ensure the nurses meet the demand for healthcare workers, especially in rural areas.



Ortiz, J., Hofler, R., Bushy, A., Lin, Y. L., Khanijahani, A., & Bitney, A. (2018). Impact of Nurse Practitioner Practice Regulations on Rural Population Health Outcomes. Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland)6(2), 65.

Sharpnack, P. A. Overview and Summary: Nurses’ Impact on Advocacy and Policy. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing27(2).