PA Senate Introduces HAP-Supported Bill to Allow APRNs Full Practice Authority
February 27, 2019
Today, Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington) re-introduced legislation that would give full practice authority to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). HAP supports the bill, Senate Bill 25, that 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 physician.
HAP believes that APRNs do not need unending physician supervision when caring for patients within the boundaries of their training. Meeting the appropriate physician collaboration requirements is a reasonable, responsible approach to helping to meet the growing health care needs for Pennsylvania.
“Many rural areas are facing a crisis in terms of the availability of quality health care services. Many physicians are retiring, and there are not enough new doctors coming into rural communities,” said Senator Bartolotta. “Nurse practitioners can help to fill this void, so we need to allow APRNs to help patients to the fullest extent of their knowledge and training. Giving them full practice authority will provide a huge benefit to patients.”
HAP supports efforts to allow advanced practice professionals to practice to the full extent of their education and training in all health care facility settings. This can help hospitals alleviate workforce shortages; deliver timely, high-quality care to patients; and ease burdens on physicians.
Earlier this month, the American Hospital Association (AHA) released a new report outlining the trends and conditions that threaten rural hospitals’ ability to maintain access to health care services in their communities, and Alex Azar II, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) unveiled three strategies for making rural health care affordable, accessible, and high quality. The six priority areas identified in the AHA report and the three HHS strategies align strongly with HAP’s current initiatives, including supporting efforts to modernize Pennsylvania’s nursing law so that advanced practice nurses can move toward full practice authority consistent with their training.
Also earlier this month, HAP has convened a Health Care Talent Task Force to guide the development of strategies that will help attract and retain the health care talent pool needed to provide quality, patient-centered care for Pennsylvania communities. The task force includes administrative and clinical leaders, health professional educators, and human resource professionals representing HAP member hospitals and health systems. The task force’s objectives include identifying strategies to support the transformation of the health care workforce given 21st century health care needs.
Twenty-two states and Washington, D.C. have already adopted full practice authority for APRNs.
For more information about the bill, contact Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy. For more information about HAP’s workforce efforts, contact Jeff Bechtel, HAP’s senior vice president, health economics and policy, or Mary Marshall, HAP’s director, workforce and professional development.