Advanced practitioners oppose AMA effort to limit their practice authority
Advanced practice nurses are urging the American Medical Association to rescind a recent decision to launch a campaign focused on limiting independent practice of non-physician practitioners across state lines.
The AMA passed Resolution 214 last month at its annual meeting. The resolution calls for the association to create a national strategy that would "effectively oppose the continual, nationwide efforts to grant independent practice to non-physician practitioners." The AMA specifically opposes the Advanced Practice Registered Nurses Compact, an initiative by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing that allows advanced practice registered nurses with one state license to practice in other states.
The compact has yet to go into effect because it requires at least 10 states to enact legislation approving the initiative. Only three states have done so. If the compact goes into effect, nurses in those states will be able to practice without physician supervision in other states that are also part of the compact.
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists have called out the AMA for its opposition to expanding practice authority to nurses.
"This has nothing to do with patient care," said Bruce Weiner, president of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, which has 52,000 members. "If you look at the resolution, patient care is an afterthought, the language doesn't address safety ... it speaks to their (the AMA's) personal self-interest, rather than focusing on what is best for the patient."
The AMA said in a statement that the resolution is "entirely about patients ... When healthcare practitioners lobby to expand their scope of practice to include inappropriate procedures or environments in which they are neither educated nor trained to practice, patient health and safety are put at risk."
This isn't the first time the AMA has opposed efforts by advanced practitioners to practice without the supervision of a physician. Last year, the AMA publicly opposed the Department of Veterans Affairs proposal to allow advanced practice nurses to treat patients without physician oversight. Once again, concerns for patient quality of care were raised as reasons for their opposition.
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