The American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN) sets the standards for ambulatory care nursing to help you achieve an expected level of care for your patients and performance of your staff.
This Scope and Standards of Practice for Professional Ambulatory Care Nursing contains an updated scope of practice statement and 17 revised standards for the clinical and administrative professional practice of ambulatory care registered nurses (RNs). The 10th edition contains some significant revisions from previous versions. In addition to the revised scope of practice, this publication contains 17 standards. The first six standards address the phases of the nursing process; the last 11 standards address professional performance. These changes offer clarification and specificity for the distinct domains of clinical and administrative nursing practice in ambulatory care settings.
Each standard contains three sections:
- A statement of the standard addressed.
- Measurement criteria that may be used for demonstrating competency for meeting the standard.
- Additional standard statements and measurement criteria for nurse executives, administrators, and managers.
These changes offer clarification and specificity for the distinct domains of clinical and administrative nursing practice in ambulatory care settings.
The Scope and Standards of Practice for Professional Ambulatory Care Nursing, as well as the CCTM Scope and Standards and Telehealth Scope and Standards, all follow a similar format.
The Scope of Practice addresses the:
- Definition of the ambulatory care nursing specialty and its defining characteristics
- Conceptual framework
- History of ambulatory care nursing and events that changed its nature over time
- Existing challenges and future possibilities
The Standards describe the responsibilities for which ambulatory care RNs are accountable. They specify two domains:
- Professional Clinical Practice
- Nursing Organizational and Professional Performance
Standards can be used to:
- Advance professional practice in the specialty.
- Develop competencies, standards, policies, and procedures.
- Create role descriptions and performance appraisal instruments.
- Develop performance improvement initiatives.
- Prepare for certification exams.
- Stimulate research and evidence-based practice.
- Guide ethical practice and patient advocacy.
The following standards are pertinent to the ambulatory care setting:
Ambulatory Care Nursing
These standards promote effective clinical and administrative management of increasingly complex ambulatory care RN roles and responsibilities in a changing health care environment.
Telehealth is an integral part of ambulatory care nursing practice. These standards promote effective clinical and administrative management of services provided by RNs via telecommunications technology.
Care Coordination and Transition Management (CCTM)
CCTM is a critical role for RNs in the transformation of health care. These standards describe the responsibilities for which RNs practicing CCTM are accountable in ambulatory care and other settings.