Important legislative win for nurses and patients in Nevada
On Tuesday, June 4, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed Assembly Bill 170 into law, giving nurse practitioners (NPs) full practice authority. This is a tremendous win for Nevada consumers that will reduce delays in accessing health care and medication. With the passage of this legislation, Nevada becomes the 17th state along with the District of Columbia allowing NPs to practice to the full extent of their education and training. This is a key goal of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The new law will now allow NPs to act without physician oversight when prescribing drugs, assessing and diagnosing conditions, and making referrals to specialists. It also authorizes NPs with at least two years or 2,000 hours of clinical experience to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances. NPs with less than two years or 2,000 hours of clinical experience may prescribe Schedule II controlled substances pursuant to a protocol with a collaborating physician. Decades of evidence shows that advanced practice registered nurses provide high-quality health care to consumers, regardless of whether or not they are supervised by or have written protocols with physicians. As a result of this legislation, Nevada consumers will have improved access to care from qualified providers, increasing their health care choices and quality of life. The Campaign for Action applauds the Nevada legislature and Governor, AARP Nevada, and many other groups who helped to support and pass this important law.