Florida Nurse Practitioner Network
Empowering Florida Nurse Practitioners as Leaders in Healthcare (Est 2002)

FNPN gives testimony to the Select Committee on Health Care Workforce Innovation: Regulation verses Best Practices

Posted almost 6 years ago by Doreen Cassarino

The second meeting of the Florida House of Representatives Select Committee on Healthcare Workforce Innovation was held on Friday (1/10/2014).  FNPN has been at both sessions and has been supporting the committee by providing NP data, research articles, and list of NPs experts.  The committee and committee staff has been very receptive to the strong research supporting that NPs are safe and qualified and appeared very interested in harnessing the potential of over 13,000 primary care NPs as a creative way to meet the healthcare needs of Floridians. We are excited to see the progress of this committee gathering fair and balanced information all the while keeping the focus on the need for the health needs of our fellow Floridians.  See Webpage about this committee http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Committees/committeesdetail.aspx?CommitteeId=2786

Testimony on Friday surrounding access, quality and cost of healthcare for Floridians, gave platform for conversation regarding relaxing or eliminating statute required supervisory protocols which limit NP scope of practice in Florida.  Mandy O'Callahan, Staff Attorney, and Catherine Dower, Center for the Health Professions, University of California San Francisco, started the meeting by presenting background information regarding advanced practice nurses and data regarding the safety of NP provided care.  Invited panelists testified over and over again, affirming the merits of NP delivered primary care, citing the multitude of individual research studies, meta-analysis and a Cochrane review, affirming that primary care delivered by NPs is equal or better than primary care delivered by physician colleagues.  The panel included Taynin Kopanos, DNP, APN, Director of AANP Health Policy/State Affairs, Jorge Valdez, CRNA, President of the Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Christie Alexander, MD, FSU Family Medicine, Robert Raspa, MD, Chairman of the Board of the Florida Academy of Family Physicians, Jonathan M. Ellen, M.D. President and Physician-in-Chief, All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine, Wayne Brackin, CEO, Baptist Health South Florida and Jay Epstein, MD, Florida Society of Anesthesiologists.

Early this fall FNPN introduced House Staff to Dr. Tay Kopanos who was subsequently invited to sit on the panel. Each panelist gave 5-6 minute comments.  A contentious discussion evolved regarding supervision of anesthesia however Jorge Valdez, CRNA, did an outstanding job explaining the highly skilled level of care delivery that CRNAs provide in many situations with excellent safety data demonstrating that CRNAs are essential in delivering this care.

Many NPs from across the state traveled to Tallahassee to testify. Attending and speaking for FNPN regarding scope of practice barriers experienced in Florida preventing practicing to the full ability of their education and training were Jean Aertker (FNPN Legislative VP and AANP Region 11 Director), Pam Johnson (FNPN Membership Director), Kathleen Wilson (FNPN Legislative Laision in Tallahassee ), Gail Sadler (AANP Florida State Representative), Deb Frederich (Immediate Past FNPN Legislative VP), Jim Quilian (Owner, Williston Pediatrics), Wendy Paracka (Owner, Remise Clinic, Tarpon Springs),  and Rita D'Aoust, PhD, APN, USF Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.  Unfortunately, only thirty minutes was allowed for public testimony and with over 60 individuals there hoping to address the committee, time ran out and the session ended. Fortunately, all FNPN speakers were selected to speak. We ask that all who did not have a chance at the podium to submit their comments to the committee in writing. If you were unable to attend and have examples of how protocols are constraints or unnecessary to your practice please send this to the committee as well. They need to hear your stories.

After the meeting Representative Pigman, Vice Chair of the Committee and a physician, as well as Representative Matt Hudson posted supportive tweets:

Cary Pigman @CaryPigman

Thank you to all APN & others who presented good&honest data supporting reduced restrictions at Committee @FLGOPMajority #sayfie

Matt Hudson @RepMHudson

49 states allow ARNP's to practice at the level of their training. Florida does not. I believe it is time to change. @FLGOPMajority #sayfie

The archive of the committee meeting is now available online.  You can access it at:


Thanks is certainly due to all who contributed in any way to this successful committee meeting.  Your professional practice interests were represented well!