Earlier this month, lawmakers in both chambers of the Florida legislature passed House Bill 607 — legislation which would allow advanced practice registered nurses, or APRNs, to single-handedly admit, care for, and discharge patients from medical facilities. This would effectively eliminate the need for physician oversight, a costly expense for independent nurse practitioners.
Proponents of House Bill 607 believe that allowing APRNs greater autonomy, as this legislation will do, has the power to fill the gap of much-needed health care services in rural Florida communities.
Although the new law will eliminate the need for an attending physician’s approval and, as such, may arguably increase the potential for treatment mishaps, the bill provides for numerous safety measures to ensure minimal complications including clear education requirements and experience thresholds for APRNs to qualify.
Under the standards, a “qualified nurse practitioner” will have at least 3,000 hours of experience under the supervision of a physician before he/she can qualify to provide services including family medicine, general pediatrics, and general internal medicine.
House Bill 307 also includes a $5 million budget for a loan repayment program for APRNs who work in primary-care health professional shortage areas or county health departments, community health centers, migrant health centers or any other publicly funded health care programs designated by the state.
The legislation, which was signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, will go into effect on July 1, 2020.
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