The Role of Nurse Practitioners in the Future of US Healthcare
As of my knowledge cutoff date of September 2021, I am not aware of any specific bills to remove Nurse Practitioner restrictions that have gained government support. However, there have been ongoing efforts at the state and federal levels to expand the scope of practice for Nurse Practitioners and remove unnecessary restrictions on their practice.
One example is the VA Provider Equity Act, which was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in April 2021. This bill would allow Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse Midwives, and Physician Assistants to practice to the full extent of their education and training within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system, regardless of state restrictions. The bill has bipartisan support and has been endorsed by several healthcare organizations, including the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and the American Nurses Association (ANA).
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In addition, several states have recently passed legislation to expand the scope of practice for Nurse Practitioners. For example, in 2021, Massachusetts passed a bill that removes the requirement for Nurse Practitioners to have a written agreement with a physician in order to practice. Instead, Nurse Practitioners in Massachusetts will be able to practice independently after completing 2 years of supervised practice and meeting other requirements. Other states that have passed similar legislation in recent years include California, Colorado, and Maryland.
Overall, the movement to expand the scope of practice for Nurse Practitioners and remove unnecessary restrictions on their practice is gaining momentum at both the state and federal levels. While there may not be any specific bills to remove Nurse Practitioner restrictions that have gained government support at this time, it is likely that we will continue to see efforts in this direction in the coming years.