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Illinois Law Will Make Changes to APRN Licensure

The Illinois governor signed legislation into law in September that will make changes to APRN licensure.

The law made two main advancements for IL APRNs. It (1) standardized the terminology for advanced practice by adopting the term “Advanced Practice Registered Nurse”, and (2) it created a pathway for APRNs who work outside of the hospital, hospital affiliated setting and ambulatory surgery centers to provide a majority of advanced practice nursing care without a career-long written collaborative agreement. Benzodiazepines and some other scheduled agents will require ongoing relationship with a physician as a condition of prescribing authority.

The changes do not advance Illinois to Full Practice Authority by national definition criteria. The state retains the current setting-based licensure for APRNs in hospitals, hospital-affiliated settings and ambulatory care settings, and prescribing of select controlled agents will continue to require a relationship with a physician. Both of these elements place the new law in the reduced practice category. The Illinois law uses the term “full practice authority” with a different definition. AANP notes this difference only to help our members understand that the licensure requirements for Illinois will be different than states categorized by AANP and other national entities as Full Practice.

While AANP did not craft the language, the association will be monitoring the regulation process over the next several months and keep its members updated. A few of the other changes from the law that will impact NPs include:

  • Establishing the regulations for the period of at least 4000 hours AND requiring 250 hours of continuing education and training prior to an NP in a select setting being authorized to practice without a written collaborative agreement. The regulations around those hours and what will constitute the education and training are yet to be finalized. No other state has the requirement for continuing education and training.
  • Enhancing requirements on APRNs using “doctor” in the clinical setting. Currently, doctoral prepared nurses are required to identify that their doctorate was in Nursing when they used the title “doctor” in a clinical setting. The new law will require that they additionally specify that they are not physicians or trained in Medicine, and prohibits the use of “doctor” (or “physician”) in advertising.
  • Adding language that the scope of an APRN does not include operative surgery.
  • Increasing the continuing education requirement from 50 hours each renewal cycle to 80 hours.
  • Adding new language: "(e-5) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize an advanced practice registered nurse to provide health care services required by law or rule to be performed by a physician, including those acts to be performed by a physician in Section 3.1 of the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975." AANP continues to evaluate the impact of this addition.

Here’s links to the finalized IL Act and a shorter version of the APRN specific amendment that was adopted. As process moves to the regulatory phase, AANP will be working with our stakeholder partners to monitor and inform the process.

AANP recognizes that states will have discussions and make decisions that impact NPs and patients at both the state and national levels. Recognizing advancements and the effort it takes to secure them, as well as the impact these decisions will have on the profession as a whole, continues to be the hard work of all NP leaders across the country.