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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 14, 2015 10:02 AM
From: Representative Jesse Topper
To: All House members
Subject: Modernization of the Professional Nursing Law - CRNP
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation which would modernize the Professional Nursing Law by allowing a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) to practice without the requirement in current law that the CRNP establish a collaborative agreement with a physician.

Nurse practitioners collaborate every day with a variety of other health care professionals, including physicians; eliminating the collaborative agreement as a licensure requirement would not change that fact or be inconsistent with a patient-centered medical home model for delivering care. Furthermore, this legislation would require that the CRNP practice within the particular clinical specialty area or population focus in which that CRNP holds current certification. To obtain that certification, the CRNP must be a graduate of an accredited master’s or post-master’s program and must pass a national examination.

This legislation is intended to align Pennsylvania’s regulation of nurse practitioners with the standards set forth in the National Council for State Boards of Nursing Model Act and put them on par with nurse practitioners in 19 other states and the District of Columbia.

Nationally, the supply of health providers has not kept pace with demand, with over 55 million Americans living in areas with a shortage of primary care providers. I have experienced this shortage in my district. Allowing nurse practitioners to practice, without unnecessary burdens and to the full extent of their education and training, would provide much-needed primary care in not only rural areas, but across the entire Commonwealth.

As more Pennsylvanians become insured through Medicaid expansion, access to care becomes more important than ever. This measure is supported by the PA Coalition of Nurse Practitioners, as well as The Institute of Medicine, the National Governors Association, AARP, and the Josiah Macy Foundation. The approach to regulation in this legislation has also been recognized by the Federal Trade Commission as a way to promote competition and consumer choice.

Recently, Rep. Tom Murt circulated a co-sponsorship memo for similar legislation. While my legislation will be the piece introduced, we intend to work together on this issue and encourage your support.

Introduced as HB765