Important legislative win for nurses and patients in Nevada

On Tuesday, June 4, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed Assembly Bill 170 into law, giving nurse practitioners (NPs) full practice authority. This is a tremendous win for Nevada consumers that will reduce delays in accessing health care and medication. With the passage of this legislation, Nevada becomes the 17th state along with the District of Columbia allowing NPs to practice to the full extent of their education and training.  This is a key goal of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

  The new law will now allow NPs to act without physician oversight when prescribing drugs, assessing and diagnosing conditions, and making referrals to specialists. It also authorizes NPs with at least two years or 2,000 hours of clinical experience to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances. NPs with less than two years or 2,000 hours of clinical experience may prescribe Schedule II controlled substances pursuant to a protocol with a collaborating physician. Decades of evidence shows that advanced practice registered nurses provide high-quality health care to consumers, regardless of whether or not they are supervised by or have written protocols with physicians. As a result of this legislation, Nevada consumers will have improved access to care from qualified providers, increasing their health care choices and quality of life.   The Campaign for Action applauds the Nevada legislature and Governor, AARP Nevada, and many other groups who helped to support and pass this important law.
by Winifred V Quinn, PhD | June 6, 2013

Tags: practice, nevada

Matthew Khan

Passage of AB 170 removed an unnecessary barrier that limited access to well trained and educated professionals. Patients will have the option to see an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse directly which is anticipated to decrease wait times for those needing relief. Many of the members of Nevada Advanced Practice Nurses Association (NAPNA) have commented how they encounter patients who were looking for someone to provide healthcare for them even when they had insurance such as Medicare. Now there are more choices to access healthcare in Nevada and we will need these qualified providers as we are expecting a much higher number of patients once ACA comes into effect next year. Point of clarification: Nurse Anesthetists are NOT included in this law due to how they are defined. Clinical Nurse Specialist CAN be included in this law IF they meet the requirements for APRN licensure in Nevada. About NAPNA The Nevada Advanced Practice Nurses Association (NAPNA) is the largest Nurse Practitioner organization in the state of Nevada, currently representing more than 300 Nurse Practitioners. For more information on NAPNA,please visit
Posted on: June 7, 2013, 1:29 pm

Debra A. Toney

Nevada nurses all over the state are excited and praising the passage of AB 170. It was great to see nurses from all areas supporting the signage of this bill by the Governor. Full practice authority for APRNs will help close the primary care shortage gap for the state. Nevada is largely a rural state with two urban areas Las Vegas and the Reno areas. However, we have large rural and frontier areas where many people are isolated and receive limited services. This opens up opportunities for nurse led clinics to provide the greatly needed services in these communities. The Nevada Action Coalition is proud to be a part of this exciting moment in history for nurses in the state of Nevada and most of all for our patients! The Nevada AC will continue to move forward with full implementation of the goals of the Future of Nursing Campaign for Action!
Posted on: June 8, 2013, 8:04 am

Debra Scott

The Nevada State Board of Nursing voted to support the initiative to remove unnecessary barriers to allow APRNs to have full practice authority and again voted to support AB170 when it was introduced before the Nevada Legislature. The efforts of many led to its passage to provide the much needed access to safe quality health care that Nevada citizens deserve. We are committed to working closely with stakeholders to implement the bill through effective and efficient nursing regulation. Debra Scott, Executive Director, NSBN
Posted on: June 10, 2013, 2:03 pm

Debra Collins

The state of Nevada is proud of this accomplishment. With the passing of AB170, our patients will now be able to obtain access to care, especially in our rural communities. Nevada Alliance for Nursing Excellence(NANE) will continue to support the goals of the Future of Nursing Campaign. Debra Collins, Chair, NANE
Posted on: June 18, 2013, 11:22 am

Winifred V Quinn, PhD

Thanks for the thoughtful posts, Nevada friends! Matthew, thank you for the clarification that the law didn't include CRNAs. What is the status of Nevada law re: CRNAs? Does state law require them to be supervised by physicians? AARP realizes how important it is for clinicians who are well trained and highly skilled to provide all anesthetic services in which they are certified. We are especially concerned about this for consumers who live in rural/frontier communities and need access to pain management for chronic conditions.
Posted on: June 19, 2013, 3:49 pm

Meredith Courville

Thank you, Matthew, for providing this clarification. We have updated the post accordingly. Congratulations, again!
Posted on: July 2, 2013, 2:49 pm


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