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NY nurse practitioner independence to increase

April 21, 2014
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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Beginning Jan. 1, experienced nurse practitioners (NPs) in the state of New York will not have to have a written practice agreement with a supervising physician or identify practice protocols in order to practice. The law will apply to any setting for which NPs currently are required to have such agreements.

The Empire State joins 17 others and the nation’s capital in easing this requirement, according to the Nurse Practitioner Association of New York State (NPA).

The Nurse Practitioners Modernization Act, passed as part of the state budget, allows NPs with at least 3,600 hours of experience to practice independently, but it does not increase their scope of practice. The NPA says the law “recognizes the collaborative relationship that must exist among healthcare professionals.”

The act was opposed by the state medical society and federal physician groups, which said it would adversely affect care quality and safety for those treated. Proponents, however, say the law will provide the increased access to medical care needed in the wake of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of Columbia University School of Nursing, for instance, says the law “is great news for patients and for nurses in New York. As the federal [ACA] extends insurance coverage to more New Yorkers, the [act] will allow advanced practice nurses to better serve patients and provide high quality, cost-effective care.”

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