Governor Malloy’s administration has proposed a new law which would allow APRNs to independently treat patients and prescribe medications. Malloy’s proposal would still require APRNs to work in collaboration with a physician for the first three years after becoming licensed. Subsequently, they can they practice alone.
The law aims to address the increased demand for primary care. In the past, physicians have opposed legislative efforts to allow APRNs to practice independently from physicians, believing that lawmakers should not reduce the training and education needed to provide medical care.
The nursing community has expressed that they would still work with other healthcare providers and that improving patients’ access to APRNs could allow for innovation in care delivery, such as the creation of nurse-managed health centers in underserved places.
Currently, 17 states and Washington D.C. allow APRNs to treat patients independently; Connecticut is one of 21 states that require APRNs to have a collaborative agreement with someone from another health care field to provide patient care. In 12 states, APRNs must be supervised by someone from another field.
Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen, a primary care physician herself, says that the end goal is to increase patients’ access to healthcare and not to fill the role of physicians. She also said it is critical to ensure physicians choose and stay in primary care and has suggested increasing their compensation.
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