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AUSTIN, Texas — Today, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) issued the following statement concerning the American Medical Association’s (AMA’s) call for nurse practitioners (NPs) and other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to be jointly regulated by boards of medicine and boards of nursing.
The AMA has once again dusted off its old protectionist playbook and demonstrated its commitment to put profit and powerplays ahead of patients and their access to high-quality health care.
During its recent House of Delegates meeting, the AMA reaffirmed multiple outdated policies that make it harder for patients to access qualified health care providers and called for the unnecessary and harmful joint regulation of NPs and other APRNs by boards of medicine and nursing. NPs practice advanced nursing, not medicine. Boards of medicine lack the requisite nursing experience and expertise to regulate nurses.
“The only appropriate regulatory entities to oversee nursing licensure and practice are state boards of nursing,” said AANP Chief Executive Officer Jon Fanning, MS, CAE, CNED. “Not only is the model proposed by the AMA flawed, but it has also been soundly rejected by 46 states and the District of Columbia. In the handful of states where NP practice is regulated outside the exclusive oversight of the board of nursing, the restrictive involvement of the board of medicine directly contributes to health care access challenges, resulting in continued low health care rankings, geographic disparities in care and unnecessary regulatory cost in these states.”
Today, there are more than 355,000 NPs practicing across the United States, strengthening health care access and delivery in nearly every community in the country and every health care setting — including clinics, hospitals, Veterans Affairs and Indian Health Care facilities, emergency rooms, urgent care sites, private physician or NP practices (both managed and owned by NPs), nursing homes, schools, colleges, retail clinics, public health departments, nurse-managed clinics, homeless clinics and home health.
“While the AMA continues its efforts and tactics designed to limit patient access to the health care provider of their choice, AANP and its members remain steadfast in our efforts to ensure that every patient gains equitable access to the health care they need, when and where they need it,” said AANP President-Elect Stephen Ferrara, DNP. “Overwhelmingly, the American public supports policies that give them direct access to the health care provider who they choose.”
Unfortunately, the AMA’s tactics are not new. AANP will continue to fight for patients. AANP calls on the AMA to stop the rhetoric and resolutions that undermine patient choice, access and truly coordinated care. The AMA’s ongoing fearmongering and physician-protectionist resolutions are negatively impacting the health of our nation. It’s time the AMA retires its dated tactics and put patients first.
The evidence is clear: NPs provide safe, high-quality care, and states where NPs are prevented from providing care at the top of their education and skill consistently rank among the poorest on health outcomes, access to primary care and geographic disparities in care. For decades, AANP has stood with and for patients, advocating for improved access to care and the removal of artificial, outdated barriers to care. Once again, we invite the AMA to join us.
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 355,000 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, visit npfinder.com. For more information about NPs, visit aanp.org.