Senate Panel Endorses Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners

HARRISBURG – The Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee approved a bill today that would remove unnecessary state barriers that prevent Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) from offering a wider variety of services to patients.

Senate Bill 25, sponsored by Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46), 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 doctor.

“Many rural communities are suffering from a severe shortage of doctors, and the expansion of Medicaid has created an even larger patient population for a dwindling number of physicians,” Bartolotta said. “APRNs are uniquely qualified to meet the growing demand for services. We just need to allow nurses to treat patients to the fullest extent of their knowledge, training and education.”

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 and the National Governors’ Association. Bartolotta took part in a rally in support of the legislation earlier today.

Twenty-two states and Washington, D.C. have already adopted full practice authority for APRNs. The Senate approved legislation similar to Bartolotta’s during the 2015-16 Legislative Session. 

AUDIO:
Listen (Rally)
Listen (Committee)

CONTACT: Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463