Let's make 2016 the year where full practice authority becomes reality!
Senate Bill 717, introduced by State Senator Pat Vance and House Bill 765, introduced by State Representative Jesse Topper, will modernize Pennsylvania's nursing laws. These bills will ensure more people have access to quality care by empowering nurse practitioners to serve patients to their fullest potential.
Here's why full practice authority is necessary in Pennsylvania:
Here’s what you can do to help:
Contact your lawmaker. Let your State Senator and State Representative know what a big difference this policy will make for patients. You can find your lawmaker’s contact information here.
Share your story. Use the hashtag #CareforPA on social media to join the conversation and support full practice authority.
Here’s why it’s so important to support full practice authority:
Patients come first. Nurse practitioners provide proven, high-quality care to patients. Over the past 40 years, every major study on NP care – over 100 – has shown that nurse practitioners’ patient health outcomes are as good or better than other providers. That’s because their training guides NPs to take a holistic approach. They look at – and listen to – the entire patient.
Pennsylvanians need more primary care. The existing shortage of primary care providers already impacts residents – particularly in underserved rural and urban areas. Now, more than 600,000 Pennsylvanians are eligible to gain insurance coverage through Medicaid expansion. Over half of all NPs are educated to provide primary care. We must act quickly to ensure Pennsylvanians can depend on access to quality health care in the years to come.
Nurse practitioners serve rural communities. Current regulations limit access to care for rural Pennsylvanians. Nurse practitioners are twice as likely as physicians to serve rural communities, and NPs in states with full practice authority are more likely to practice in rural areas compared to states – like PA – without it.
It saves money. Outdated regulations put red tape between nurse practitioners and patients.Free market advocates support full practice authority for nurse practitioners because increased competition in health care is good for patients – and consumers. Unlike other proposals to expand access to care, full practice authority won’t cost taxpayers a dime.
Experience and experts agree. 21 states and Washington, DC have already adopted full practice authority. The Institute of Medicine, the AARP, the National Governor’s Association, the Federal Trade Commission, and the National Conference of State Legislatures have all endorsed the policy.
Team-based, patient-centered care will remain strong. Patients are healthiest when they have the ability to access the health care system easily and affordably. Nurse practitioners are trained to work as part of a health care team – it is part of our core philosophy. Just like primary care physicians, NPs work with specialists any time it benefits the health of a patient.
Learn more about nurse practitioners and how full practice authority would enable them to serve patients:
What is a nurse practitioner? Nurse practitioners have graduate, advanced education, with master’s degrees or doctorates and are nationally certified in their specialty areas. Among their many services, NPs order, perform and interpret diagnostic tests, diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and injuries, prescribe medications and other treatments and manage a patient’s care – under the exclusive licensure authority of the state board of nursing. Over 100 studies have shown that patient health outcomes from NP-led care are the same as, or better than, physician-led care.