As of earlier this year, 18 states and the District of Columbia had enacted full practice authority for nurse practitioners– both practice and prescribing independence. In May, Connecticut joined the group of leading states. AANP commended Connecticut’s governor for retiring the requirement that nurse practitioners maintain career-long collaborative agreements with physicians, stating “Enactment of Senate Bill 36 brings a no-cost solution that corrects a needless regulatory bottleneck long preventing Connecticut from adapting and responding to the state’s growing health care needs.” This is a welcome step that is supported by five decades of experience.”
But, as you can see from the map, the “green” states that are leading the march towards full practice authority are all on the East coast and in the West. Yellow states are reduced practice states red are restricted practice states. Our goal is to turn yellow into green in Ohio!
Of the 19 states with full practice authority (FPA) for Nurse Practitioners, many, but not all, also have FPA for certified nurse midwives and certified nurse anesthetists. There are actually more states with FPA for Nurse Midwives (26). And a whopping 33 states are independent practice states for Nurse Anesthetists, with no state supervision requirements in state law; 17 of them have also opted out of the federal supervision requirement.
Since Ohio does not have full practice authority for any of our groups, we have inclusively and strategically decided to seek FPA for all APRNs together – all CNPs, all CNMs, all CRNAs and all CNSs.
Ohio’s APRNs are severely restricted by outdated state practice regulations. OAAPN, along with all of Ohio’s APRN organizations, seeks to do away with these outdated regulations with a modernized Nurse Practice Act which recognizes APRNs as the independent licensed practitioners they are. The OAAPN Spring 2014 newsletter highlighted Ohio’s journey towards full practice authority through the then newly formed Full Practice Authority Committee. We have made tremendous progress! We have:
- crafted FPA legislation – a bill to be introduced in the 131st Ohio General Assembly which is scheduled to convene on January 5, 2015.
- secured the support of important stakeholders;
- sought the involvement of OAAPN membership to educate Ohio’s legislators, and many OAAPN members have already volunteered to serve as contacts for their members of the General Assembly;
- commissioned an economic analysis by the prestigious RAND Corporation that clarifies the potential for substantial financial savings available to the state of Ohio by the elimination of the APRN restrictive practice laws.
The FPA Committee, through their own research in conjunction with the forthcoming RAND report, has sought verification of the expected positive impact on health care access and costs if practice barriers were removed today.
Article by Christine Williams, Chair, Full Practice Authority Committee