KS House bill would give nurse practitioners more authority
By Mary Clarkin - The Hutchinson News
Updated Jan 24, 2019 at 5:37 PM
Michelle Knowles, an advanced practice registered nurse in Hays, thinks the environment is better now than it was four years ago to secure legislative approval granting her profession greater authority.
On Wednesday, House Bill 2066 emerged through the Kansas House Committee on Health and Human Services that would not require those licensed in advanced practice registered nursing to have a written collaborative agreement with a physician. The bill covers all four roles under the APRN umbrella: certified nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified registered nurse anesthetist and certified nurse midwife.
In 2015, there was a hearing on similar Senate legislation to allow advanced practice nurses to prescribe drugs without protocol and to practice without a collaborative agreement with a physician. The bill did not advance out of committee. The Kansas Medical Society and the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians were among those opposed.
“The shortages of physicians and all health care providers are getting worse nationally,” Knowles said, and it is more difficult for nurse practitioners in rural areas to have a collaborative agreement with a physician, she said.
Twenty-two states - including Colorado and Nebraska - and the District of Columbia have full practice authority. “If we are trying to keep our workforce in Kansas, we need to be competitive,” Knowles said.
The House bill also would require that starting July 1, 2020, applicants for an initial advanced practice registered nurse license to have a current certification in their specific role from a national certifying organization. Also, the bill would require the individual to have malpractice insurance coverage.
The national certification “just helps confirm the competency” of those in the profession, and the malpractice insurance requirement - already required for the nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives - shows “professional responsibility,” Knowles said.
No hearing has been scheduled yet.