The Legislative Session is On!
Our Florida Legislature opened on January 10, 2012, the 114th Regular Session. This Legislative Session came earlier than usual because every ten years redistricting and reapportionment is required. This process can be a very contentious and it may be even more this time around due to new constitutional amendments passed with the intent of limiting “gerrymandering". So expect lots of news about these eventual challenges by the various legislators and parties. The budget is always the biggest topic for sure too!
While the early business of the Legislature is sure to be dominated by the redistricting process, ARNPS will need to be aware of important bills affecting or potentially affecting our practice.
A new “A Healthcare Practitioners Bill” has been filed by Representative Van Zant (R) and Senator Bennett (R) for this session. HB 1267 and SB 1014 provides for several practice area “fixes” including requiring a licensed health care practitioner to wear a name tag indicating licensure credentials,expanding the scope of practice to authorize an advanced registered nurse practitioner to prescribe, order, administer, monitor, and alter any drug or drug therapies that are necessary for the proper medical care, revising the definition of the term "practitioner" to include advanced registered nurse practitioners. However, all must read this bill in its entirety as you may hold concern about some added practice restrictions as the bill was drafted.
A “Baker Act Bill” was bill filed by Rep Campbell (D)Miami. HB 1195 - Relating to Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners – 2012. Senate companion version SB-1750 was filed by Sen. Gary Siplin (D)Orlando. The bill amends s. 394.463, F.S by adding ARNP to the list of professionals who may Baker Act an individual. Several years ago we were contacted by school based NPs and family NPs who needed this authority for patients deemed in need of urgent psychiatric intervention. NP’s and RN’s who hold national certification and work in psychiatry have been able to initiate involuntary examinations under the Baker Act since 1992. PA’s got this authority only recently without any formal or additional psych education or specialization in psychiatry-just their basic education. We feel NPs should have this ability if needed in practice. Hopefully, the health care committees in the House and Senate will realize this action is well within our present scope of practice as Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners and is needed for the care of Floridians.
Another bill of interest HB 291/SB 948 is onnce again back pertaining to sports head injuries requires removal from practice or competition under certain circumstances & written medical clearance to return. This bill did not pass last year as Chiropractic physicians worked to amend and be included as examiners. NPs are currently in this bill now, and we will continue to monitor this progress of this. There is opposition of including anyone but physicians by some organzied medicine groups. One version requires direct physician supervision of the NP in order to provide a release to athletics program post injury. Obviously, a NP who accepts this patient in thier practice would have the education and skill to provide this type of examination or refer to a specialist.
We will keep you apprised of any new developments during the session by email alerts. Your continued support of FNPN and your interest in NP advocacy is greatly appreciated. Please send us your feedback and ideas and let us know what success or battles you encounter as you push our legislation forward. We look forward to your input and efforts as we face another difficult but exciting 2012 Legislative Session! Speak up for your right to PRACTICE!!