HARRISBURG – The Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee took an important step today to benefit patients by improving the access they have to health care by passing legislation that would grant 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 fulfilling 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 health care services more available and affordable to all Pennsylvanians, especially in rural areas where the need is greatest.
“I have heard too many stories from residents of the district who have to travel an hour or more just to find a doctor who will accept new patients, and that is unacceptable,” Bartolotta said. “This issue transcends partisan lines because it focuses entirely on ensuring quality health care access, which is why I am hopeful that it will receive a vote in the House of Representatives this session.”
Twenty-three states and Washington, D.C. have already adopted full practice authority for APRN-CNPs.
Similar legislation was approved by the Senate unanimously in June 2019 and in April 2017 by a 39-10 margin. Neither version of the bill received a vote in the House of Representatives.
Several statewide and national advocacy organizations have voiced 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.
Senate Bill 25 was sent to the full Senate for consideration.
CONTACT: Colleen Greer, 717-787-1463