Ohio could be next to allow NPs to practice without oversight: 5 things to know

Ohio lawmakers are expected to begin hearings in January on a modernization bill that aims to address the impending physician shortage by providing nurse practitioners and other advanced-practice nurses with expanded ability to practice to the full extent of their education, training and certification, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Here are five things to know about the proposed legislation.

1. The proposed bill was introduced this year by Ohio State Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville).

2. The Ohio State Medical Association has called the proposal unreasonable, alarming and dangerous, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The group contends physicians are better-educated and have deeper medical knowledge. It also argues working as a team results in optimal patient care, and that the bill would wear away protections against prescription drug abuse and fragment healthcare, according to the publication.

3. Advanced-practice nurses claim they should not be required to pay a physician as much as $25,000 annually for oversight that can amount to little actual collaboration or advice, according to The Columbus Dispatch.  They also said Ohio law is forcing talented workers to leave for other states where they can practice without physician oversight and other challenges, the report notes.

4. If Ohio law does change, advanced-practice nurses, which include nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse midwives, would still routinely collaborate with physicians and other nurses when they're seeking advice or feedback, Christine Williams, a nurse practitioner in Cleveland and director of full practice authority and reimbursement for the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses, said, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

5. Furthermore, if Ohio law does change, the state would join 21 states and Washington, D.C., in allowing nurse practitioners to practice without physician oversight. According to The Columbus Dispatch, 26 states allow certified nurse midwives to practice without physician oversight and 33 states allow independent nurse anesthetists.

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