HARRISBURG – The Senate took an important step to benefit patients in Pennsylvania by passing legislation that would give full practice authority to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses-Certified Nurse Practitioners (APRN-CNPs).
Senate Bill 25, sponsored by Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46), would modernize the Professional Nursing Law to permit qualified APRN-CNPs to practice 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 said the bill would help to make healthcare services more available and affordable to all Pennsylvanians, especially in rural areas where the needs are greatest.
“Many patients in my district in Beaver, Greene and Washington counties face travel times measured in hours – not minutes – for critical appointments, if they can find someone to treat them at all,” Bartolotta said. “Pennsylvania’s nurse practitioners have all the tools they need to help ease the suffering of patients. We only need to give them the green light to begin helping patients to the fullest extent of their training.”
Studies have shown that patients who are treated by APRN-CNPs 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.
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 APRN-CNPs.
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.
Senate Bill 25 was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
CONTACT: Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463