HARRISBURG – A bill introduced today by Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) would remove unnecessary state regulations that currently prevent Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) from treating patients to the full extent of their education and training.
Senate Bill 25 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. The bill would remove administrative burdens that serve as an obstacle to patients receiving quality health care services.
Bartolotta pointed out that expanding practice authority for nurse practitioners would help improve the availability of health care services across the Commonwealth, especially in rural and underserved areas. Nearly 35 percent of Pennsylvanians live in an area or population group with inadequate primary care access.
“Numerous studies have shown that patient health outcomes are as good or better under the care of nurse practitioners when compared to other providers,” Bartolotta said. “Many rural communities suffer from a severe lack of health care access, forcing many patients to travel an hour or more for care. Expanding the practice authority of APRNs is a logical step to help break down the barriers to quality health care services.”
Several statewide and national advocacy organizations have voiced their support for full practice authority for nurses, including the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, the National Academy of Medicine, AARP and the National Governors’ Association. Twenty-nine senators have signed on as co-sponsors to Senate Bill 25.
Twenty-one 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.
CONTACT: Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463