March 18, 2017
By Gale Adcock
North State Journal
Healthcare is expensive, it is polarizing, and it is one of the most regulated industries in the world. As one of the biggest issues being tackled at every level of government, it behooves us to look closely at this complex system to identify outdated policies that overcomplicate healthcare and increase costs.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) are some of the low-hanging fruit of healthcare overregulation, but since they are not well understood by the public, the opportunities they provide have gone largely unnoticed. I should know. As a nurse practitioner, I am one of the four types of nurses that make up APRNs (along with clinical nurse midwives, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists).
That is why I, along with a bipartisan group of 43 legislators in North Carolina’s House and Senate, have sponsored House Bill 88, the Modernize Nursing Practice Act (its Senate companion is Senate Bill 73). This bill gives North Carolina a chance to address its glaring access-to-care problem while maintaining a high level of safety and reducing costs.
The main goal of this legislation is to remove superfluous regulations that force APRNs to be “supervised” by a physician. This requirement can cost thousands of dollars, cost that is passed along to patients without providing any tangible benefit to the patient.