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Nurse authority bill passes Select Committee

Nurse authority bill passes Select Committee

The House Select Committee on Health Care Workforce Innovation passed a proposal on February 18, 2014, to give nurse practitioners more authority.

While only two members voted no on SCHW 14-01, several said that their support was tentative; they wanted to see further discussion and changes.

Part of the plan eliminates a requirement for Independent Advance Practice Registered Nurses (IAPRN) or those with post-college education, to contract with and pay a "supervising" physician.

Representative Cary Pigman, R-Sebring, an emergency room doctor and point person on the committee bill, described how he could officially "supervise" a nurse practitioner in Okeechobee while he was at the podium in Tallahassee, and would be paid. Nurses and doctors continue to fight over the extent to which the bill increases medical authority, or scope of practice, for nurses.

The Florida Medical Association released a statewide poll on February 17, 2014, stating 61 percent opposed a proposal to allow nurses to treat patients without the supervision of a physician.

"Further, when asked about a proposal to allow nurses and other healthcare workers who are not physicians to prescribe narcotics including painkillers, 79 percent of respondents opposed ..." reads the news release.

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