Nurses, Others Call on NCGA to Pass the SAVE Act

By: NC Nurses Association
 
 
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RALEIGH, N.C. - May 28, 2020 - PRLog -- One of the first actions the General Assembly should take this session is to bring the SAVE Act (SB 143/HB 185) to the floor of both chambers for votes. Giving North Carolinians better access to quality care is paramount during this pandemic response. This bipartisan bill has more than 60 co-sponsors and fix unnecessary barriers to care the minute it is signed into law.

The SAVE Act cuts red tape by removing so-called "physician supervision" requirements for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) forced to enter into a business contract with a physician before they can treat patients. The current requirements have largely remained unchanged since being enacted 40 years ago.

In December, the Trump Administration issued an executive order calling on states to consider modernizing statutes to allow APRNs to practice at the top of their license. Additionally, Alex Azar, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, sent a letter to all 50 governors this March suggesting they modernize APRN regulations as a direct response to COVID-19.

"It is long past time that North Carolina modernizes its APRN regulations to match the reality of our healthcare infrastructure," said NCNA President Dennis Taylor. "North Carolina is in an 'all hands on deck' situation, but this outdated red tape is keeping many of our best and most flexible healthcare workers from practicing to the full extent of their training and education."

Over the last few months, nurses have proven how capable and dedicated they are to protecting patients, no matter what they face. The main opposition to this regulatory change is not based on facts: physician groups have said for years, without any evidence, that patient safety will suffer. Dozens of studies over the last four decades have shown time and again that APRNs care for patients as well as – and often better than – physicians when their scopes of practice overlap.

Nearly ten years ago, the Institute of Medicine offered a full-throated endorsement of Full Practice Authority with its "Future of Nursing" report. Since then, studies published everywhere from the Federal Trade Commission to the Journal of the American Medical Association have continued to support these changes.

The coalition of support around this bill has continued to grow since the SAVE Act was first introduced last February. Aside from multiple nursing associations, a diverse group of outside organizations support this bill for a wide range of reasons that directly address healthcare during a pandemic and the changes our system must undergo in its aftermath.

APRNs are some of the most highly-trained nurses in the profession and require masters-level education or higher. The four types of APRNs include Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse-Midwives, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, and Clinical Nurse Specialists.

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