The SAVE Act
The only reason the SAVE Act, which would give more independence to some of the state’s most skilled nurses, keeps getting stuck in dead-end committees is because of intransigent physicians groups. The delay costs North Carolinians hundreds of millions annually while exacerbating healthcare access problems.
Quality healthcare is about using evidence to treat someone and adjusting when new or better information becomes available. Physician resistance to the SAVE Act is antithetical to that basic cornerstone of evidence-based care.
Study after study has shown bills like the SAVE Act would improve healthcare, but we seem to be stuck in the same political gridlock people despise.
The patient safety argument that physicians groups have leaned into is, frankly, insulting. Just a few years ago, a medical practice cited North Carolina’s “modest” supervision rules as a way to recruit physicians because they could earn “almost passive income,” adding up to $60,000 a year by supervising just four nurse practitioners.
Bottom line: Nurses are the most trusted profession in the country — 19 years running, per Gallup — and patients trust highly trained nurses to know when to refer to a specialist or seek advice from a colleague. A mandated contract doesn’t change that underlying premise.
Let’s break the politics of the pocketbook and give patients to a well-deserved win. I urge the power brokers at the N.C. General Assembly to allow the SAVE Act to move forward.
Tina Gordon, Raleigh
CEO, North Carolina Nurses Association
Click here to read the original Letter to the Editor on the News & Observer website.