Full Practice Authority Wins Popular Support
The more people learn about how nurse practitioners can meet crucial primary care needs, the more they support measures allowing them to do so.
That’s the takeaway from a survey conducted by AARP Oklahoma last fall. The poll found that 87 percent of Oklahoma voters age 40 and older support allowing nurse practitioners to serve as the primary or acute care provider of record for a patient.
That support cuts across political divides, with 84 percent of Republicans, 92 percent of Democrats and 89 percent of independents supporting the idea.
It’s no surprise, then, that a bill allowing nurse practitioners to put their full education and training to work caring for Oklahomans sailed through the Oklahoma House of Representatives last year on a bipartisan 72-20 vote.
That measure, House Bill 1013 by Rep. Josh Cockroft and Sen. AJ Griffin, has since been bottled up in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The committee’s chairman, Sen. Ervin Yen, refuses to hear the bill.
Oklahoma is in desperate need of more primary care providers. The state is 49th in physician-to-patient ratio, and all or part of 76 out of 77 counties are designated as primary care shortage areas
Nurse practitioners can do more to care for Oklahomans. They know the level of care they are educated to provide, and they are already regulated by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. Patient safety hasn’t been an issue in the 22 other states where NPs enjoy full practice authority.
It’s time to cut through the red tape and let NPs do their jobs. If you agree, contact your State Senator today and ask them to co-author HB 1013!