Telehealth Nursing Practice

As the nurse's role in telehealth has increased in breadth and scope, the need for practice standards emerged. In 1997, the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing published the firstTelehealth Nursing Practice Administration and Practice Standards to articulate expectations for nurses engaged in telehealth practice, and has published revised versions on a regular basis.

AAACN also recognized the void of formal education programs for the nurse involved in giving patient care via the telephone.


They organized and financially supported a team of telehealth nurses to develop the Telehealth Nursing Practice Core Course.

Additionally, an active AAACN special interest group exists that address professional issues and educational needs of nurses engaged in telephone practice.

The American Nurses Association has sponsored the formation of the Nursing Organization Telehealth Committee which serves as a forum for groups involved in telehealth practice to address emerging issues from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Both AAACN and ANA recognize the professional nurse (RN) as the appropriate provider of telehealth nursing services. The application of the nursing process when providing patient care has always pointed to a professional nurse practice.

This course supports and maintains that the nursing process is clearly demonstrated by the RN providing patient care via the telephone.

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Join AAACN NOW to receive member rates on our telehealth nursing resources.

Listed below are a number of the telehealth nursing resources available from AAACN. Read more about them:

Telemedicine: Lessons Learned Articles

Added: October 17, 2016 - AAACN member and past president Traci Haynes, MSN, RN, BA, CEN, wrote the feature article "Telehealth Nursing Practice" in the October issue of AnswerStat.

Health advice has been telephonically dispensed since the advent of the telephone. An often-told story identifies the first telehealth interaction occurring when Alexander Graham Bell placed a call to Mr. Watson, his assistant, requesting Watson to come help him with an injury to his hand.

Today, in our ever-changing healthcare environment coupled with... Read the full article.

Added: October 22, 2015 - Member Kathy Koehne, DNP, RN-BC, C-TNP, AAACN’s representative to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Telehealth Care (SOTC) has written an article titled Telemedicine: Lessons Learned that appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of the Section on Telehealth Care newsletter.

The article focuses on the ongoing development of a telemedicine program within a health system. The lessons learned pertain to all staff along this care delivery continuum. Direct care nurses and ambulatory nurse leaders will find valuable takeaways from this story --the implementation of a telemedicine grant.

A formalized program can ensure competencies, reduce inefficiencies, and overall, improve the quality of this mode of care delivery.

Read the article

Results of 2014 Telehealth

In order to better serve our members, AAACN conducted a survey in May, 2014 to determine the current state of telehealth nursing practice and to identify the anticipated challenges and the ways in which AAACN can meet the telehealth nursing practice needs of our members.

The Telehealth Nursing Practice survey was sent electronically to 2298 members, of which 381 (17%) responded. According to the survey response, the majority (79%) of telehealth nursing practice takes place in four settings: Academic Health Systems, Group Practice/Health centers, Managed Care/HMO/PPO’s, and the VA. Other settings (21%) include: Public health/Community health, free standing call centers, University, Military, and ambulatory surgery centers.

Responses suggest growth in the use of online patient portals and secure message exchange as 70.4% and 64.8% of organizations (respectively) are thinking about using these modalities. View additional highlights of the survey.

AAACN plans to use the information to support current practice and to help our members meet the challenges of the future. Thank-you to those who participated by sharing their valuable expertise and experience with AAACN.

Deb Cox, MS, RN, Treasurer
Liz Greenberg, Liz Greenberg, PhD, RN-BC, C-TNP, CNE, Director
Suzi Wells, MSN, RN, Immediate Past President

AAACN Online LibraryOther Telehealth Education

Sessions from the special telehealth track offered at our annual conferences and Webinar recordings are available in our Online Library. 

An easy way to locate the telehealth education in the library is to use the "Browse Resources" box in the lower left margin, or search "telehealth" using the search feature.

Visit the Online Library

The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)

The Nurse Licensure Compact advances public protection and access to care through the mutual recognition of one state-based license that is enforced locally and recognized nationally. If you are a Registered Nurse practicing in states that are considering joining the Compact, it is imperative that you understand the Compact and how it will benefit the practice of nursing.

Get access to the latest NLC information via this AAACN News Item.