California Senate Approves Scope of Practice Legislation

On Tuesday, May 28, the California State Senate passed Senate Bill 491 by a vote of 22 to 12. The proposed legislation would remove barriers to practice for nurse practitioners in California, allowing them to work autonomously without physician supervision. This would help address California's primary care shortage, providing better access to health care for millions of residents. SB 491 will now move to the State Assembly for consideration.

AARP California supported this legislation in a letter to the legislature: Decades of evidence demonstrate that APRNs have been providing high quality health care with positive outcomes equal to the care provided by their physician counterparts. Consumers will have improved access to medications, diagnoses and treatments, and referrals to specialists and therapists with the modernization of California's scope-of-practice laws, such as removal of the collaborative agreement.

Other prominent supporters of the bill are Blue Shield of California, the California Hospital Association, and the University of California.

See more resources from the California Association for Nurse Practitioners.

by Winifred V Quinn, PhD | June 3, 2013

Tags: practice, california

mike modrich

Thank you to the California State Senate for passing Senate Bill (SB) 491. Passing this bill is the first hurtle in making primary care and illness prevention more of a focus in today’s health care setting in California. If this bill moves all the way legislative process many California’s will benefit by gaining access to primary care provided by Nurse Practitioners (NP) and potentially become healthier in under-served areas of California. NPs would not be preforming outside of their education and training but actually to the fullest their fullest capability. This would ensure that the many new individuals which need primary care would have access to it. The California Medical Association is opposed to this legislation. I am not sure why physicians would be opposed to providing health care access to under-served Californian. Eighteen other states and the District of Columbia have laws allowing NPs to practice at fullest extent of their education and training. The research concludes that patient’s outcomes and satisfaction do not differ from NP to physicians delivering primary care. I would hope the California State Assembly and the Governor take a similar stance to the State Senators and pass this legislation for the benefit of all Californians
Posted on: October 25, 2014, 2:43 pm

Elizabeth Scott Paulson

This is pivotal in providing affordable, accessible health care to all Californians. Nurse Practitioners are a priceless asset to health care delivery. I hope that more will come to understand that patient outcomes and satisfaction are high among Nurse Practitioners.
Posted on: November 6, 2014, 7:33 am

Marianne Neil

Nurse Practitioners are a vital asset to primary care. To allow nurse practitioners to practice to the full extent of their license would especially benefit those in rural areas and the medically underserved. With the shortage of physicians, this is a logical and economical solution. NP's have the education and skill sets needed to provided quality care to their patients and communities they serve.
Posted on: December 14, 2015, 5:02 pm


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