Full Practice Authority For Nurse Practitioners Is Growing
California has become the 29th state to allow nurse practitioners to practice independently. New York, Massachusetts, and Delaware recently became full practice authority states as well. However, in California, they must go through 3 years of physician oversight before they can reach the point of independent practice.
This was a hard-fought battle that was settled with Governor Newsom finally signing the bill into law.
The reason for the legislation was that many patients in the Golden State do not have ready access to physician care. Despite its purpose to create an expanded envelope to provide greater care for state residents, the California Medical Association objected to the new law stating that physician-based care is the model that ensures the greatest patient safety.
The Association also claimed that other states which have allowed full practice authority for their nurse practitioners have not shown any meaningful improvement in the access to care in underserved communities.
That state’s Board of Registered Nursing will need to develop regulations to implement the particulars of this bill while the California Medical Association will remain involved.
This is a huge step for nurse practitioners in the state which also affects physicians who, because of the bill, will now lose the fees they had been charging for clinical practice oversight of the nurse practitioners.
Massachusetts and Delaware allowed NPs to practice due to the pandemic and recently passed permanent legislation.
Nurse practitioners provide care in a holistic manner and take more time assessing patient issues. I believe their care is outstanding, and they take the time to speak with patients and get to know them. I am glad that nurse practitioners are getting the recognition they deserve to be able to have full practice authority.