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Briefly, the key to defining nursing practice in every state is the Nurse Practice Act.
Only one state, North Dakota, was successful in changing the nurse practice act to require baccalaureate education for licensure as a Registered Nurse.
Since APRNs, as well as RNs are licensed on a state by state basis, it is necessary to be sure that the Nurse Practice Acts (NPA) in each state will accommodate the fullest possible scope of practice for those RNs and APRNs licensed in each state.
Despite opposition from some physicians and training schools of 10-12 week duration that were vehemently involved in lobbying against state licensure standards, by 1914, the nursing association had been instrumental in getting 40 states to enact nurse practice acts.
State nurse practice acts and related legislative and regulatory initiatives serve as the explicit codification of the profession's obligation to act in the best interest of society.

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