Scope & Standards of Practice for Professional Ambulatory Care Nursing

Scope & Standards of Practice for Professional Ambulatory Care Nursing
9th Ed.
2017 © American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN)
Cynthia Murray, BN RN-BC
ISBN-13: 978-1-940325-36-1
Nursing, Evidence Based Medicine


The Scope and Standards of Practice for Professional Ambulatory Care Nursing promotes effective clinical and administrative management of increasingly complex ambulatory care RN roles and responsibilities in a changing health care environment. The 9th Edition contains significant revisions from previous versions, including an updated Scope of Practice statement, as well as updates for the 16 standards of professional ambulatory care nursing practice.

The scope of practice statement addresses the definition and unique characteristics of ambulatory care nursing, the conceptual framework, and its history over the past 30 years, the diverse types of ambulatory care settings, the roles of ambulatory care RNs, the trends and issues in ambulatory care and future directions. The standards specify the competencies needed for professional clinical and administrative practice.

The first six standards address the six phases of the nursing process; the last ten standards address Professional Performance. Each standard contains three sections.

  • 1. A statement of the standard addressed.
  • 2. Measurement criteria that may be used for demonstrating competency for meeting the standard.
  • 3. 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.

Use this resource to guide ambulatory care nursing role descriptions and competencies; improve or create policies, procedures, and standards; train and orient staff; create clinical, telehealth, and administrative job descriptions; stimulate participation in research and evidence-based practice; guide ethical practice and patient advocacy; and guide performance improvement initiatives in clinical and organizational environments. The Standards will also assist registered nurses in preparing for the ambulatory care nursing certification exam.

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Specialty Score: 2.3 Nursing - Ambulatory
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