Medical Orgs Decry Attempt to Alter State Laws for APRNs

Interstate Compact Language Aims to Broaden Independent Scope of Practice

May 16, 2018 12:54 pm News Staff

The AAFP joined more than 80 other professional medical organizations and state medical associations in urging the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to revise language in its Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Compact.

[Portrait of female nurse at desk in office]

Specifically, in a May 10 letter(3 page PDF) sent by AMA senior legislative attorney Kristin Schleiter, J.D., to NCSBN President Katherine Thomas, M.N., R.N, the organizations urged the national council to "remove or substantially revise" sections of the APRN Compact(www.ncsbn.org) that "grant prescriptive authority and allow APRNs to practice independent of a supervisory or collaborative relationship with a physician, notwithstanding state law to the contrary."

The letter reiterated the organizations' support for modernizing licensure for all health care professionals and pointed to support or neutral stances offered by many of the signees on other health professional licensure compacts.

Importantly, said the letter, the compacts that previously garnered this support did not attempt to alter scope of practice laws.

"All of them have enjoyed widespread success in state legislatures," said the letter.

In fact, the APRN Compact is the only health professional licensure compact in existence that changes the health professional's scope of practice -- and is, in fact, the only licensure compact that the signers of the letter have challenged.

"We strongly object to the use of interstate licensure compacts as a mechanism through which to expand scope of practice laws, and call on the NCSBN to reconsider inclusion of the relevant sections," said the letter.

The letter suggested that such a revision would earn the support -- or at least a neutral stance -- on the APRN Compact legislation by many of the organizations that object to language pertaining to altering APRNs' scope of practice.

"We sincerely hope you will keep this consideration in mind," as the NCSBN annual meeting approaches, concluded the letter.