WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Some lawmakers say it is time to remove some federal barriers and allow advanced practice registered nurses to better provide care to the patients they serve.
“It’s gonna make a huge difference for patients,” Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) said.
Roybal-Allard wants Congress to recognize the role advanced practice registered nurses have in the U.S healthcare system.
“They include nurse practitioners, nurses, anesthetists, nurse midwives and clinical nurse specialists,” Roybal-Allard said.
Her legislation aims to improve healthcare access for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries by expanding the authority the highly trained nurses have to treat these patients. The bill’s Republican co-sponsor, Rep. Dave Joyce (R-Ohio) says the country can’t, “afford to undervalue the essential contributions our nurses make.”
The bill looks to remove federal requirements for physician oversight of APRNs when they do things like writing a prescription or supervising medical rehab.
“These law and negotiations reduce access to care and create disruptions in care,” Roybal-Allard said.
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners says the current regulations prevent these nurses from administering proper care.
“The I CAN Act would remove these barriers, fully realizing the potential of our np workforce at a time, when it is needed the most,” AANP President April Kapu said.
Roybal-Allard says she is confident they will get more lawmakers to recognize that fewer regulations will benefit patients.