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How U.S. states are improving care delivery by giving nurses full practice authority

More than 20 states enacted laws in 2017 to equip nurses with full practice authority.
Show All Comments As 2017 comes to a close, many states have signed laws and regulations expanding access to healthcare provided by advanced practice registered nurses.
Hospital executives involved with attracting, hiring and retaining top talent will want to track the trend of enabling nurses to practice at the top of their license because doing so makes them more accessible to a wider array of patients.
“In 2017, over 20 states reported passage of legislation positively impacting access to and delivery of healthcare nationwide,” wrote Susanne Phillips of the University of California, Irvine, in her annual report on legislative developments affecting APRN practice in the January issue of The Nurse Practitioner.
Phillips highlighted national efforts to move individual states toward providing full practice authority (FPA) to APRNs: nurses with advanced degrees and clinical experience who have the potential to improve access to healthcare in a number of settings.
Reflecting intensified efforts to respond to the ongoing opioid crisis, several states have enacted new laws or regulations on the prescribing of controlled substances. Two states, California and Oregon, passed legislation bringing nurse practitioners’ role into line with the federal Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. These laws clarify the role of nurse practitioners in prescribing buprenorphine, an important part of treatment for opioid use disorders.
Other new legislation affecting APRN practice includes changes in practice authority, including several states where APRNs are now authorized to recommend — though not prescribe — medical marijuana for patients with a qualifying condition. Different states broadened APRNs’ “signature authority” for specific purposes, notably including the authority to sign death certificates.
Advanced practice registered nurses — including nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives — are a critical part of efforts to ensure and expand access to high-quality, cost-effective healthcare, according to Phillips’ assessment.
Source: Healthcare Finance News

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Updated: December 28, 2017 — 3:54 pm

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