Give APRNs full practice authority

Georgia’s Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) practice laws are some of most restrictive in the nation.  Georgia law requires that APRNs have a protocol agreement with a supervising physician and mandates additional supervision requirements.  APRNs in Georgia cannot write prescriptions for Schedule II medications, and their ability to order diagnostic tests is also limited.  Georgia Watch supports enabling APRNs to better serve patients and fill gaps left by physician shortages by granting APRNs the authority to practice to the full extent of their education and training.

You can read more about this issue in Georgia Watch’s 2015 policy report Perspectives on Advanced Practice Registered Nursing in Georgia.

Senator Renee Unterman (45th) chaired the Barriers to Georgians’ Access to Adequate Healthcare Senate Study Committee in 2017.  Georgia Watch presented to this Committee on Nov. 6, 2017, and we were pleased to see our policy recommendations reflected in the Committee’s Final Report.

Georgia Watch supports SB 351, introduced by State Senator Renee Unterman, which in it’s original form would have expanded the scope of APRNs practicing in rural Georgia.  The bill was modified and now would expand from four to eight the number of APRNs a physician is allowed to supervise and would allow APRNs to order radiographic imaging for patients if their supervising physician delegated the authority. The legislation is significantly diluted from the original proposal.

Update: SB 351 passed the Senate on February 28, 2018, but it did not advance in the House of Representatives.

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