Kentucky Removes APRN Practice Barrier
Feb 20, 2014, 9:00 AM
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear signed legislation last week that lifts a key limitation on advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and increases consumer access to health care.
The new law “allows more flexibility for nurse practitioners to provide accessible health care to Kentuckians,” Beshear said. “Nurse practitioners are a critical part of helping more Kentuckians get the medical care they need quickly and efficiently, and I am proud of the bipartisan effort to serve Kentucky’s health needs.”
In the past, APRNs were only allowed to prescribe medication with a physician’s written consent. The new law removes that requirement for APRNs who have four or more years of experience prescribing medication under a collaborative agreement with a physician or as an independent practitioner in another state, according to the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action.
Collaborative agreements with physicians are still required for APRNs who wish to prescribe controlled substances.
The bill cleared the House earlier this month in a unanimous vote. The Senate passed it in January by a vote of 36 to 1. It is the first bill to clear the Kentucky Legislature this year.
This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.