HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Currently, nurse practitioners can’t practice on their own in Pennsylvania, but a new bill would change that.
Legislators and nurse practitioners gathered at the Capitol to show support for Senate Bill 25, which would give full practice authority to nurse practitioners.
“Absolutely it’s that trifecta of education training, and experience that they now get to highlight in the room with a patient and in consultation with other medical Professionals,” said Ashley Klingensmith, the State Director with Americans for Prosperity Pennsylvania.
Currently, nurse practitioners cannot practice unless two doctors sign off. If one or both physicians leave, the nurse practitioner must stop seeing patients until another physician steps up.
“We have to make things better so nurse practitioners do not leave out of this state. We have to make it better for our younger nurse practitioners coming up,” said Cheryl Schlamb, President, of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners.
Under the bill, nurse practitioners can practice to the full extent of their licenses and certifications, allowing them to see more patients, which could cut down on wait times.
“For people that have been practicing for 30-something years, such as me who’ve been doing the same job for years and years, I don’t need this supervision, and honestly, a lot of times our physicians just know we do a good job and let us fly,” said Schlamb.
According to a survey conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research, 34% of people wait less than a week to see a physician, while 57% can be seen sooner by a nurse practitioner.
“This is a way to keep some of these qualified professionals here and serve the population that needs really good quality healthcare,” said Klingensmith.
Twenty-seven states (including bordering states like Maryland, New York, and Delaware) have granted nurse practitioners full practice authority.