California NPs move toward practice sans physician oversight

California's nursing agency approved rules that allow nurse practitioners to treat patients without physician supervision, CapRadio reported Nov. 16.

It is the latest step to fully implement a 2020 law to allow nurse practitioners to practice more freely. Nurse practitioners will be able to apply for the certification process starting early 2023.

"This means that if I want to do a mobile clinic in Skid Row, I don't have to be held hostage by paperwork to get a partnering physician who may not have the same desire," Cynthia Jovanov, DNP, president of the California Association of Nurse Practitioners, told CapRadio

Nurse practitioners are a cost-effective way to bring primary care to communities, particularly rural areas, according to Glenn Melnick, PhD, a health economist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Physicians are pushing back, however. The California Medical Association said nurse practitioners have less training than physicians, so allowing them to practice independently could reduce the quality of care and even pose a risk to patients, according to CapRadio

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