Changes in scope of practice for advanced practice providers

Scope of Practice, Workforce/Access Shortage,

Several states have recently made changes or rejected changes to scope of practice laws fro nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists. Emergency powers and waivers due to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed advanced practice providers to temporarily perform some expanded services. Supporters of expanded scope laws argue for providers to be allowed to practice to the full extent of their education and training, resulting in improved access to care for patients. Opponents of expanded scope cite studies showing that most patients want a physician to be involved in their care and that care provided by advanced practice providers is actually more expensive than care provided by doctors.

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Some states with recent scope of practice changes include

  • New York allows nurse practitioners to practice without supervision from a doctor
  • Massachusetts expanded the independent practice of physician assistants
  • Maryland now allows nurse practitioners, midwives, and physician assistants to perform abortions
  • Kansas allows full practice authority for nurse practitioners, read more
  • Alabama allows certified registered nurse anesthetists to provide anesthesia services in coordination with a physician, podiatrist or dentist and order certain medications and tests, read more
  • Wisconsin's governor vetoed a bill that would have granted independent practice authority to APRNs, read more