Introduction and Background:
Thank you for this opportunity to present to this committee on behalf of Nurse Practitioners (NP) across the country. We, the Coalition for Nurse Practitioners, represent and support the standardization of practice across the states. Unwarranted restrictions against professional autonomy and expansion of scope of practice congruent to the NP’s education and training only interfere with access to safe and quality healthcare. Currently, there is disparity in the level of professional autonomy and prescriptive authority amongst NPs. Alaska, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Washington were the first states to adopt broader licensing authority for nurses in the 1980’s. This was in response to shortage of primary care providers especially in remote areas. In 1990’s, large rural states (New Mexico), with severe doctor shortages, followed suit and most recently, the passage of Affordable Care Act in 2010 urged other states to reconsider their legislations to absorb millions of newly insured patients. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), only 17 states in addition to the District of Columbia allow Nurse Practitioner full practice. The rest would have to succumb to a collaborative agreement or supervision, delegation or team-management by an outside health discipline in order for the NP to provide patient care. Prescriptive authority also varies from state to state, including prescribing controlled substance (CS) capabilities.
American Association of Nurse Practitioners. (2014). NP Fact Sheet. Retrieved from http://www.aanp.org/all-about-nps/np-fact-sheet
American Association of Nurse Practitioners. (2013). Quality of Nurse Practitioner Practice. Retrieved from https://www.aanp.org/images/documents/publications/qualityofpractice.pdf
American Association of Nurse Practitioners. (n.d.). State Practice Environment. Retrieved from...