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Advanced Practice Nurses Could Work Independently Under Proposed Law

photo of stethoscope

A study shows the country is on the verge of a doctor shortage, but one lawmaker in Ohio says she has a plan to fill the gap. The new bill is just the latest attempt to expand the authority of advance practice nurses.

Republican Representative Theresa Gavarone wants to allow advanced practice registered nurses, or APRNs, to independently take care of patients without “mandatory collaboration agreements” with doctors.

Jesse McClain with the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses says these agreements are overly burdensome, adding that it’s becoming harder to get these agreements because large hospital networks are buying up physician practices.

“Most physicians won’t sign your standard care arrangement because the hospitals systems may not allow them unless you’re also employed by that hospital system," said McClain.

The Ohio State Medical Association, representing doctors, was against a similar proposal two years ago. The legislature ended up passing a bill that expanded flexibility for APRNs but kept the collaboration agreement in law.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.