Strategies for State Statutory Language Changes Granting Fully Independent Nurse Practitioner Practice

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For nurse practitioners (NPs) to be considered as a critical component of health care reform, they must change their state statutes to permit independent practice. This can be accomplished by plenary prescriptive authority including controlled substances. This article provides a summary of NP scope of practice and prescriptive privileges to date, together with a discussion of the strong statutory language used by Alaska and New Mexico with regard to independent practice. Comparisons of model independent scope and prescriptive authority statutory language are discussed along with prevalent opposition arguments, appropriate practitioner titles, and an enumeration of strategies for effective lobbying.

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