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House Approves Independent Practice for Advanced Nurses

March 6th, 2020 by Jake Stofan

The House passed its number one priority off the floor Friday.

The bill allows advanced registered nurse practitioners to practice independently.

Representative Doctor Cary Pigman has been pushing the legislation for seven years straight.

He believes allowing the nurses to practice within the scope of their training without having to pay a doctor thousands each year will expand access to basic medical care.

“I think in the long term we’ll see a savings in healthcare cost because prevention and treating basic problems is an economic way to move forward,” said Pigman.

It hasn’t been an easy road.

Concerned quality of care could be affected, the Senate has never had an appetite for the legislation.

Before the House voted to pass the legislation even some Representatives echoed those concerns.

“I wonder what message we are sending and what standards we are legislating when we begin de- emphasizing training, de-emphasizing education,” said Rep. Margaret Good.

But Rep. Pigman said data from other states shows quality of care has not suffered.

“I direct you to all of the studies that have been done and has shown that there is no difference in outcome of care in primary care between nurse practitioners and physicians. There is no evidence of harm. There is only displays of safety and efficacy,” said Pigman.

Negotiations are still ongoing between the two chambers, but for the first time the House Sponsor is optimistic.

“For the first time in the time I’ve been here we have a Senate offer,” said Pigman. “I know what I’d like to get, the Senate has concerns, we’ll find some place to land.”

Rep. Pigman wouldn’t talk details about what trade could possibly be on the table.

“I make the arrows, how the Speaker chooses to use them is up to him,” said Pigman.

But criminal justice reform, tourism marketing funding and land conservation are all candidates likely in the mix.

In a show of support for ARNP’s, the Florida House has been recognizing an advanced registered nurse of the day throughout session. Traditionally both chambers recognize a doctor of the day each chamber meeting.

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