#ItCantWait: On World Health Day 2020, get involved. We must empower nurses now with full practice authority to strengthen healthcare and enable nurses to practice at the top of their preparation. Here’s a letter you can use to write your state representative:
The Honorable (Name)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator [Name],
On behalf of the [insert school name] and as a representative of the nursing profession, I urge you to consider legislating “Full Practice Authority” for nurse practitioners in [insert state]. Through this authority, all nurse practitioners would be able to evaluate patients, diagnose, order, and interpret diagnostic tests, and initiate and manage treatments, including prescribing medications and controlled substances, under the exclusive license authority of the state board of nursing.
[Specify your state’s current restrictions and what it would mean to have those restrictions lifted.]
While the unfortunate circumstances of COVID-19 have brought to light the importance and necessity of nurses and nurse practitioners, it is imperative to recognize that for 50 years, nurse practitioners have provided primary and specialty care to patients across the lifespan. Through their advanced preparation and education, they are trained to provide critical, hands-on, direct patient care. Lifting further oversight requirements would allow them to freely perform at the top of their preparation.
As specified by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the benefits of full practice authority include:
- Increased access to care, particularly among underserved populations and within rural areas where access to physicians may be inadequate.
- Streamlined and more efficient delivery of care where patients can receive full and direct access to services at the point of care.
- Decreased cost by avoiding duplication of services and billing and unnecessary repetition of office visits and orders.
- Protected patient choice that allows patients to see health care providers of their choosing, thereby leading to more person-centered care.
Especially during this difficult time for our nation and world, thank you for your consideration of this important issue.