HARRISBURG – Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-46) and nurses from across Pennsylvania representing the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners (PCNP) discussed important legislation to increase health care access.
Senate Bill 25 would allow qualified Advanced Practice Registered Nurses-Certified Nurse Practitioners (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.
“Too many Pennsylvanians face extensive wait times for appointments and long travel times to meet with specialists – if they can find someone who is accepting new patients at all,” Bartolotta said. “Patients are left without even the basic services they need to promote good health.”
Bartolotta’s bill would improve access and affordability of health care services, especially in rural areas where the need is greatest. In fact, 3.4 million Pennsylvanians live in rural areas, where nurse practitioners are twice as likely – compared to physicians – to practice.
“Pennsylvania’s nurse practitioners are leaving PA, where they are greatly needed, to practice in neighboring states. And we can’t blame them,” said PCNP President Cheryl Schlamb, DNP, CRNP. “Neighboring states allow nurse practitioners to work without restrictions, open their own practices and provide high-quality care to greater numbers of patients. It should be a priority to retain and attract NPs here in Pennsylvania to care for our PA patients, and Senate Bill 25 would finally make that happen.”
According to a recent study’s findings, the number of patients seen by nurse practitioners per week would increase by almost 1,800 if Pennsylvania adopted full practice authority.
“My bill focuses exclusively on patients and how we can connect them to the care they need. It would promote a stronger health care system, more access to critical services and better quality of care,” Bartolotta said.
The bill is before the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee for consideration.
CONTACT: Katrina Hanna, 717-787-1463