HARRISBURG – Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) re-introduced legislation today that would give full practice authority to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs).
Senate Bill 25 would modernize the Professional Nursing Law to permit qualified APRNs to practice in their field of specialty independent of a physician after they fulfill a three-year, 3,600-hour collaboration agreement with a physician. Current law requires nurse practitioners to practice under a collaboration agreement at all times.
Bartolotta noted that APRNs are perfectly suited to help meet the growing demand for health care services, as studies have shown that patients who are treated by APRNs have similar health outcomes to patients who are treated by physicians. Nearly 35 percent of Pennsylvanians live in an area or population group that has inadequate primary care access.
“Many rural areas are facing a crisis in terms of the availability of quality health care services. Many physicians are retiring, and there are not enough new doctors coming into rural communities,” Bartolotta said. “Nurse practitioners can help to fill this void, so we need to allow APRNs to help patients to the fullest extent of their knowledge and training. Giving them full practice authority will provide a huge benefit to patients.”
Similar legislation was approved by the Senate in April 2017 by a 39-10 margin, but the bill did not receive a vote in the House of Representatives.
Several statewide and national advocacy organizations have voiced their support for full practice authority for nurse practitioners, including the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, the National Academy of Medicine, AARP, the National Governors’ Association, and the Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders.
Twenty-two states and Washington, D.C. have already adopted full practice authority for APRNs.
CONTACT: Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463