SB 972 & HB 821 allow APRNs to practice to the full extent of their education and training
Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) and Representative Cary Pigman (R-Sebring), at a press conference today, emphasized the important role Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) play within Florida’s health care system by increasing access to health care, lowering health care costs and maintaining patient quality of care. By filing SB 972 and CS/HB 821 related to autonomous practice for APRNs, Brandes and Pigman are seeking to allow APRNs to practice to the full extent of their education and training without physician supervision and protocols.
“Twenty-two states have already removed barriers for APRNs. It is time for Florida to modernize its healthcare delivery system by ensuring that Floridians have full access to healthcare, particularly in rural areas that are often underserved,” said Brandes. “This legislation recognizes the extensive education and training these health professionals receive and the vital role they play in every healthcare setting.”
APRNs are comprised of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), Certified Nurse Practitioners (CNP), Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM), and Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS). Florida has more than 34,000 licensed APRNs who work in all practice settings including hospitals, other health care facilities, and in the offices of other health care providers.
“It is time for us to finally catch the law up with the practice. Historically, our laws did not contemplate the evolution to the sophisticated education and training APRNs receive today. We all agree that the safety and wellbeing of patients is paramount, and there are many independent studies that show APRNs can safely and effectively provide some of the same healthcare services as physicians,” said Pigman.
A recent report by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury found that APRNs and other highly trained professionals “can safely and effectively provide some of the same healthcare services as physicians, in addition to providing complementary services.” The report went on to recommend that states “consider changes to their scope-of-practice statutes to allow all healthcare providers to practice to the top of their license, utilizing their full skill set.”
APRNs deliver essential healthcare in thousands of communities and are able to prevent gaps in access to services, especially in rural, inner-city and other medically underserved areas of the country.
Representatives from the Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the Florida Nurse Practitioner Network joined Brandes and Pigman at today’s event in support of the legislation.