Attention NPs - the Georgia House of Representatives determine your future practice!
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Very few nurse practitioners have any interest in politics. They are too busy working long hours on behalf of their patients, and what little time is left over is devoted to family and friends. But guess what? If you do nothing, your legal right to practice to your full ability will slowly and surely be whittled away by organized medicine groups, who have a lot of funding and time to try and find insidious ways to alter Georgia State law so that it favors physician control over NP practice. For an example from 2013, I refer you to this information on the CAPRN (Coalition for Advanced Practice Registerd Nurses) website (items in ellipses added):
Legislative Update: Status of SB 94 and Next Steps
Thanks to the state-wide efforts of all Georgia’s Advanced Practice Nursing organizations working together, SB 94, which would remove current restrictions to the ability of APRN’s to order diagnostic imaging exams [MRIs, CT scans], passed the State Senate in March 2013 at a vote of 34-18. Supporting APRN’s in this effort were the Georgia Hospital Association, Children’s Health Care of Atlanta, Emory University and Emory Healthcare, HomeTown Health (small hospital alliance), the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, and the Georgia Rural Health Association. Senate Bill 94 was then sent to the GA House of Representatives, where it stalled for a year in the Health and Human Services Committee. [The committee chair is a long-time supporter of organized medicine, and the co-chair is a family practice MD]. While the bill was scheduled for a hearing, and while supporters of the bill were present and prepared to testify for the bill as passed by the senate, a Committee substitute was passed out and discussed instead. This is the prerogative of the committee. However the substitute presented was met with a great deal of concern by many of the committee members, and was tabled without being acted upon. The substitute among other things included restrictions to practice for PA’s and APRN’s as well as retail clinics and would have given the Board of Medicine greater authority in regulating Advanced Practice Nursing. Unfortunately, no testimony was heard related to the original bill.
Your Representatives need to hear that last minute "substitutes" for a bill, especially ones that include restrictions that no one but the committee chairs themselves came up with, are not acceptable. You as their constituent expect them to discourage such "back-door" attempts to limit NP practice, and instead vote on SB 94 as it passed the Senate. Your patients need to voice their support also, in WRITING. Your collaborating physicians need to contact the Medical Association of Georgia: http://www.mag.org to say they disagree with their legislative agenda, which seeks to hinder NP practice, and even suggests that NP regulation should be transferred from the Board of Nursing entirely to the Board of Medicine! So take action before it is too late. Take the time and make the effort to meet and talk with your Representative, and more importantly, to have your patients write or call them in support of unfettered NP practice. Educate your patients about the restrictions that the State of Georgia places on NPs that other States do not, and the increased cost and inconvience it causes. Please see the attachment to help you find your district and your Representative, to research their voting history, and to contact them.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch" - Benjamin Franklin