Nurse practitioners are hampered by Pennsylvania requirement
As nurse practitioners with 55 years of combined experience serving Lehigh Valley families, and as educators of NPs, we must respond to a recent op-ed about our profession (“Your View by Pa. Medical Society: Why nurse practitioners need collaborative agreements with doctors,” The Morning Call, Sept. 7). It is one thing to disagree over a political issue, but quite another to misrepresent NPs and the quality of our education.
NPs are proven to be excellent care providers. NP requirements are rigorous; all NPs must earn a bachelor’s in nursing, a master’s or doctorate in our specialty area, and national board certification.
Unfortunately, our ability to serve patients is hampered by a state requirement that we have business contracts with physicians. A proposed reform titled Full Practice Authority, Senate Bill 25, would change the contracts from mandatory to optional. The bill has bipartisan support and the endorsement of 28 organizations, including Lehigh Valley Health Network. Physician associations are alone in their opposition to this reform.
Twenty-two other states have these new rules. Full Practice Authority for NPs improves health care quality, increases access and lowers costs.
NPs and physicians work together in all 50 states, and in Pennsylvania, we always will. This is not about NPs or physicians. It is about the patients. We urge lawmakers to support SB25. Kathleen Gray The writer is assistant professor and director of Nurse Practitioner Programs, Moravian College, and past president of the Lehigh Valley Association of Nurse Practitioners. Carol Gullo Mest The writer is professor and chair of Graduate Nursing Programs, DeSales University.