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New York Legislation Expands Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice

The enactment of this bill will make New York the 25th state to fully expand the scope of practice for nurse practitioners.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed state legislation that will grant nurse practitioners (NPs) a wider scope of practice, eliminating previous barriers that would have limited patient access to care.

Such scope of practice expansion will improve patient access to high-quality healthcare, especially as the healthcare industry is facing major staffing shortages during the pandemic, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners said.

The United Health Group has previously reported that NPs with full practice authority could reduce the primary care provider shortage by 70 percent.

"New York has taken a critical step forward in our country, increasing access to vital healthcare services. New Yorkers will now have full and direct access to the comprehensive care NPs provide," April N Kapu, DNP, APRN, ACNP- BC, FAANP, FCCM, FAAN, president of AANP, said in a press release. "Over the past two years, New York has waived unnecessary and outdated laws limiting access to healthcare. AANP applauds the state legislature and Gov. Hochul for recognizing that these provisions need to continue.”

“These changes will help New York attract and retain nurse practitioners and provide New Yorkers better access to quality care," added Kapu.

Twenty-five states, including New York, have adopted Full Practice Authority (FPA) legislation, making it so NPs do not need sign-off from an authorizing physician to provide certain services and care to patients.

NPs receive the proper training to address the needs of patients. FPA allows NPs to evaluate patients, diagnose, order diagnostic tests, manage treatments, and prescribe medications.

Leading health policy experts like the National Academy of Medicine have long recommended that states adopt FPA legislation to improve care access and outcomes.

“As the 25th state with Full Practice Authority, New York joins an expanding list of states acting to retire outdated laws that have needlessly constrained their healthcare workforce and limited patient access to care," said Jon Fanning, MS, CAE, CNED, chief executive officer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

NPs have proven to be a vital resource in addressing social determinants of health, which is key to mitigating health disparities for specific targeted groups.

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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