Next up is some big news for nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nurses out there. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) came out with a policy paper aimed at state lawmakers to urge them to open up nurse practice acts to allow autonomous nursing practice alongside physicians in many areas of health care. The FTC said that any legislation that limited the scope of practice of APRNs was harmful to healthcare consumers.

Nurse Practitioners and the Future of U.S. Health Care

confident nurse practitionerOf course the American Association of Nurse Practitioners was ecstatic about this policy paper. The paper is called “Policy Perspectives: Competition and the Regulation of Advanced Practice Nurses.” We all know how the vast majority of physicians have been vocal opponents of expanded nursing practice citing spurious patient safety claims despite numerous studies debunking that assertion. Perhaps now state lawmakers will be more proactive with the backing of this policy written out to explain the way these archaic limitations hinder access to care for their constituents.

I suggest you check it out for yourself and forward it to your local legislators for their perusal. The paper is over 40 pages long in pdf form but is a pretty riveting read, at least it was for me. One statement that stood out to me was in the concluding statements that said that legislators should be cautious when looking at claims of patient safety issues saying that the law makers should carefully investigate these claims as they “may well discover that there is little or no substantiation for claims of patient harm.” I think that says it all.

What do you think? I hope you’ll send me your comments on this and other items in this week’s episode by shooting me an email to As always, I look forward to hearing from you.


Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode –Getting Back to the Art of Nursing and Episode 288.



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