Bill passage would help nurse practitioners, patients

EDITOR:

“Many people see nurse practitioners for their health care throughout the U.P. A nurse practitioner (NP) is considered an advanced practice nurse, who has earned either a master’s or doctorate degree in nursing, and has passed a national certification test in a certain specialty field of practice (like family, pediatrics, women’s health, etc). These NP’s provide health care services to the residents of Michigan now currently under the delegation of physicians.

In many states this delegation is not required. We currently have an opportunity to improve the health care working climate for NP’s with passage of Senate Bill 2. If passed, Senate Bill 2 would define the Advanced Practice Nurses (APN’s) in our public health code based on national standards used by other states. It would authorize APS’s/NP’s to practice to the full extent of their masters or doctoral education and board certification. It would improve consumer choice and provide greater direct access to qualified health care providers. It would also remove unnecessary barriers to care. The NP that you currently see writes your medication prescription under physician delegation. If this bill passes then the NP would be writing the prescription under her/his own name.

Currently, in Michigan NP’s cannot order physical therapy. NP’s can see you, assess, and diagnose the problem and identify the need for physical therapy as a treatment, but NP’s are not allowed to sign the order for this. Senate Bill 2 would eliminate this barrier.

If you see a NP as a health care provider, we need your help! Please contact your representative in the Michigan House of Representatives via phone, e-mail, or letter and let them know about the care that you receive from your NP. Let them know that you support Senate Bill 2 and ask them to do the same. Senate Bill 2 passed the Senate late in 2013, it has since been introduced into the House Health Policy Committee, chaired by Rep. Gail Haines. The bill has not yet had a hearing, we are asking for this next step. Thank you for your help in this matter.”

Myrth C. Condon

Wetmore