During a press conference at the Statehouse this morning, State Representative Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) discussed legislation she has introduced that will modernize various provisions regarding Advanced Practice Registered Nurses’ (APRN) duties. APRNs include nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, certified registered nurse anesthetists and certified clinical nurse specialists.

Also attending the press conference were Candy Rinehart, Director of The Ohio State University’s College of Nursing, Total Health & Wellness, and Brian Garrett, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and Director of the Otterbein University Nurse Anesthesia Program.

Primarily, House Bill 216 aims to address the impending shortage of physicians, which over the next 10 years is expected to eclipse 90,000 nationwide, by expanding APRNs’ ability to practice to the full extent of their education, training and certification. As a result, Ohio can take a major step toward providing health care that is accessible, affordable and timely for Ohioans all across the state.

“Our health care system is at a tipping point and it’s time to make a change that will benefit Ohioans,” said Representative Pelanda. “As the number of primary care physicians declines, the aging population and number of insured patients entering the system are increasing. This imbalance puts Ohioans’ health care at risk. The good news is Ohio’s APRNs are qualified to provide safe, high-quality care to help fill this gap and be part of the solution. Unfortunately, our current laws restrict APRNs from helping patients to the full extent of their education, training and certification.”

It is becoming more difficult for APRNs to find physicians with which to collaborate, so therefore HB 216 seeks to eliminate the mandated and legal contractual collaborative arrangement or supervision between physicians and APRNs. Furthermore, the bill would eliminate the Board of Nursing’s Committee on Prescriptive Governance formulary. Because the formulary can be changed several times a year and new drugs added, removed or changed so frequently, it requires constant monitoring. Eliminating any type of APRN formulary, as 45 other states have already done, would remove the complications and risk-prone environment where Ohio APRNs practice.

Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia allow nurse practitioners to practice autonomously, including prescriptive authority, according to the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses.

House Bill 216 will be referred to a standing House committee in the near future.

Complete footage of today’s press conference can be found at this link:

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