Dear Florida Legislators,
As you consider legislation that will affect healthcare delivery in our state in the coming session please consider the following FACTS regarding the ability of advanced practice nurses to provide safe cost effective care.
Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) include Nurse Practitioners (“ARNP” in Florida), Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs).
More than 50 years of research supports the safety, effectiveness and high quality of care that Advanced Practice Nurses provide to their patients. Healthcare outcomes have been found to be comparable between Advanced Practice Nurses and Physicians nationwide. Notably, patient satisfaction rates are typically higher with healthcare provided by an Advanced Practice Nurse.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report entitled The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health states, “…what nurse practitioners are able to do once they graduate varies widely for reasons that are not related to their ability, education or training, or safety concerns, but to the political decisions of the state in which they work” (page S-4).
“Full Practice Authority” laws have passed in 19 states and the District of Columbia allowing Advanced Practice Nurses to evaluate, diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests, initiate and manage treatments (including the ability to prescribe medication) under the exclusive licensure authority of the state Board of Nursing. No state has ever rescinded Full Practice Authority laws once passed.
“No studies suggest that care is better in states that have more restrictive scope-of-practice regulations for APNs than in those that do not. Yet most states continue to restrict the practice of APNs beyond what is warranted by either their education or their training” (IOM, page 3-13).
There are over 14,000 Advanced Practice Nurses that are licensed in the state of Florida. If they were able to provide care to their full potential, more Floridians would have access to safe, highly quality, patient-centered health care.