Nurse practitioners are fighting to pass a bill that would grant them independent practice in Indiana (House Bill 1097). The bill introduces itself as a means for NPs to sign a record on a death, however goes on to state that it "Sets forth requirements that must be met in order for an advanced practice registered nurse to operate without a practice agreement." In recent years, nurse practitioners and their lobbyists have been striving to remove the physician led interdisciplinary team model, and have been fighting for pay parity, equal scope of practice rights, and complete autonomy in practice. All this despite their lack of comparable pre-clinical training, clinical hour requirements, residency training, or board examinations.
Whether you live in Indiana or not, chances are that similar trends are occurring, have occurred, or will occur in your state. It is important that you recognize the changing philosophy of the nurse practitioner lobbies, from advocating for NPs to work under the guidance of a physician to claiming their equality to one. We must all be a part of the process to safeguard our specialty, and most importantly our patients.
AAEM believes that nurse practitioners and physician assistants who work in emergency departments belong under the supervision of a board-certified emergency physician. If you agree, please contact your state legislators and explain how important this is for patient safety. Feel free to cite the Academy's position paper on the issue, or send a copy to your legislators. If you aren't sure who your state legislators are, find your state legislator at https://www.congress.gov/state-legislature-websites.
Haig Aintablian, MD
Co-Chair, RSA Advocacy Committee