HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Senate has approved legislation to expand the practice authority for nurse practitioners.
Senate Bill 25 moved to the House of Representatives on Wednesday by a vote of 44-6.
The proposal would permit qualified nurse practitioners, also known as advanced practice registered nurses, to practice independent of a physician after they fulfill a three-year, 3,600-hour collaboration agreement with a physician.
Current law requires nurse practitioners to practice under a collaboration agreement at all times.
The bill’s sponsor, Senator Camera Bartolotta, says the measure would help to make healthcare services more available and affordable to all Pennsylvanians, especially in rural areas where the needs are greatest. She said nearly 35 percent of Pennsylvanians live in an area or population group that has inadequate primary care access.
Twenty-two states have already adopted full practice authority for nurse practitioners.
Similar legislation was approved by the Senate in 2017, but the bill did not receive a vote in the House.