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New York removes physician oversight for nurse practitioners; Connecticut follows suit


New York lawmakers recently gave nurse practitioners more independence by removing a requirement for a written agreement between a physician and an experienced nurse practitioner as a condition of practice.

The Nurse Practitioners Modernization Act, enacted as part of the New York state budget, will become effective Jan. 1, 2015. Nurse practitioners with fewer than 3,600 hours of experience still will need to have a written practice agreement with a physician, according to a news release.

“Today’s passage of the Nurse Practitioners Modernization Act is great news for patients and for nurses in New York,” said Bobbie Berkowitz, RN, PhD, FAAN, dean of Columbia University School of Nursing. “As the federal Affordable Care Act extends insurance coverage to more New Yorkers, the (new law) will allow advanced practice nurses to better serve patients and provide high quality, cost-effective care. Nurse practitioners are educated to provide primary care, and we look forward to additional efforts that allow NPs in New York to extend their independent practice to the full extent of their education and training.”

The Connecticut State Senate passed a similar bill on April 9, allowing nurse practitioners to practice without physician oversight after three years of practicing under a collaborative agreement. That bill, which originated in the governor’s office, was approved by the state House of Representatives on April 28 and signed into law by the governor. Physicians groups in both states opposed the legislation.

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia do not require nurse practitioners to have a written practice agreement with a physician.


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