A bill to grant nurse practitioners (NPs) the right to practice medicine independently, AB 890 (Wood), will be heard on the Senate Floor early next week. This might be the LAST chance to stop the bill before it goes to the Governor for his signature. CAFP has adopted an Oppose position, as the author and sponsors have refused to take any of our proposed amendments, including around a “transition to practice” section that only requires learning six concepts including “Interpersonal Communication” and “Professionalism.”
Please call your State Senator BEFORE WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON and urge them to Oppose this bill. CAFP has created a fact sheet you can use to help guide your call.
- Proponents of the bill argue that this bill will improve access to primary care, as well as care for the underserved. However, NOT A SINGLE PROVISION in the bill creates an incentive or requires independent NPs to practice in underserved areas or to practice primary care. As demonstrated in the few states that allow complete independent practice, independent NPs continue to practice in well-served areas.
- Nurse Practitioners lack a uniform, consistent education program to attain certification. In addition, unlike other providers practicing independently, nothing in this bill requires sufficient ongoing maintenance of certification and competency. The bill contains vague provisions such as only requiring “transition to practice” and passing ANY national NP board certification examination. Independent NPs must be required to have completed training at an accredited Nurse Practitioner Residency Program, and participate in ongoing competency training and testing, as other independent providers do.
- AB 890 falls incredibly short on creating a meaningful path to independence, ensuring access to care for the underserved, and lacks consistent and sufficient educational standards, testing and regulatory oversight.