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Most Patients Back Expanded Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice

According to a recent survey, 82 percent of patients support giving broader nurse practitioners (NPs) scope of practice, including through telehealth.

As more states consider expanding nurse practitioners (NP) scope of practice, a recent poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of CVS Health found that most patients want broader NP authority so that they can practice to the full extent of their clinical education and licensure.

Similarly, the survey found that nearly 80 percent of healthcare providers, including physicians, NPs, PAs, nurses, and therapists agree and support NPs in providing care to the full extent of their training, including through telehealth visits.

"The results of this survey come as no surprise, given the high-quality health care NPs deliver — in person and via telehealth — and the high degree of trust patients place in NPs," April N. Kapu, DNP, APRN, ACNP- BC, FAANP, FCCM, FAAN, president of AANP said in a press release. “Recently, both New York and Kansas enacted legislation that removes barriers to NP-delivered care. Currently, 26 states have Full Practice Authority. It's time for the remaining 24 states to do the same, and this poll clearly shows most Americans support that action."

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many states increased the ability of nurse practitioners to provide care to the full extent of their clinical education and licensure to expand healthcare provider capacity and shorten wait times for patients, the press release stated.

In 2021, Massachusetts and Delaware also passed legislation that enabled full practice authority for NPs.

The Massachusetts law granted full practice authority to advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), while the Delaware legislation removed the transition to practice (TTP) policy from six years, 4,000 of full-time hours, and a collaborative agreement with a physician, podiatrist, or health system.

Delaware also joined North Dakota in the APRN compact, allowing APRNs who hold full practice authority to practice in other Compact states.

Most recently, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed state legislation this year that granted nurse practitioners (NPs) a broader scope of practice.

“As the 25th state with Full Practice Authority, New York joins an expanding list of states acting to retire outdated laws that have needlessly constrained their healthcare workforce and limited patient access to care," said Jon Fanning, MS, CAE, CNED, chief executive officer of AANP.”

“This is a no-cost, no-delay solution to strengthening healthcare for the nation,” continued Fanning. “Decades of research show that states with Full Practice Authority are better positioned to improve access to care, grow their workforce and address healthcare disparities while delivering quality health outcomes for patients. We look forward to more states following suit.”

In addition, NPs are known for building strong patient relationships putting them in a position to uncover certain social determinants of health.

“We know that people's ZIP code is very much a greater indicator of healthcare outcomes than their genetics,” Sophia Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, immediate past president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners said in an interview. “And so, we look at the social factors that impact their ability to care for themselves. Do they have access to healthy food? Do they have transportation to get to their medicine or to get to any specialist appointments? Is their house safe with them?”

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