More States Consider NP Autonomy from Medical Physicians
Written by Editor   
Thursday, April 24, 2014 06:15 AM

Three more states have taken steps to allow nurse practitioners (NPs) to work without oversight by a doctor in an effort to alleviate physician shortages.  Nebraska, New York, and Connecticut are all in various stages of granting more freedom to NPs by removing mandates that they have practice agreements with physicians.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) counts 21 states -- including Nebraska, Connecticut, and New York -- that require NPs to obtain a "collaborative agreement" with a physician.

In 17 states and the District of Columbia NPs are given the opportunity for "full practice," meaning they are allowed to evaluate patients, make a diagnosis, order diagnostic tests, prescribe medication, and initiate and manage treatments.

The remaining 12 states require NP supervision by a physician.

Last week, the Nebraska legislature passed a bill that removes the requirement that NPs sign a "practice agreement" with a physician.  The Nebraska Medical Association, like the rest of the organized physician community, is opposed to the bill. 

The American Academy of Family Physicians is calling on its members to oppose ... legislation, saying the state's "current system allows for greater freedoms for [advanced practice registered nurses] than many other states and should not be altered."