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Massachusetts Enacts Law Improving Access to Care

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AANP welcomes Massassachusetts’ efforts to modernize health care delivery

AUSTIN, TEXAS — The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) recognizes the leadership of Governor Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts legislature in improving health care for the people of the Commonwealth through the passage on January 1, 2021, of An Act Promoting a Resilient Health Care System That Puts Patients First. Massachusetts joins 22 other states, the District of Columbia and two U.S. territories in adopting Full Practice Authority legislation, enabling patients to directly access the full breadth of health care services nurse practitioners (NPs) are educated and clinically trained to provide. Passage of this legislation significantly strengthens health care delivery throughout the state.

"The signing of this law represents nearly a decade of effort by many stakeholders to improve health care access in Massachusetts,” said Leah McKinnon-Howe, DNP, ANP-BC, AANP Massachusetts State Representative. “Today we applaud the state legislature and Governor Baker for recognizing the integral role of NPs in the health care delivery system. This legislation makes permanent executive orders that allowed NPs to fully respond to COVID-19 and will better position the state to rebuild and meet the health care challenges ahead."

"Massachusetts is the latest state to embrace a better care delivery model that recognizes NPs as part of the solution for addressing increasing health care needs," said AANP President Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP. "This decision aligns with the evidence and recommendations for NP licensure from leading health policy groups like the National Academy of Medicine. Research shows that states with Full Practice Authority maintain strong safety and quality outcomes and improve both access to care and cost savings.”


The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of the more than 290,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NPs’ patients and other health care consumers. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. To locate an NP in your community, go to For more information about NPs, visit

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