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Nurse Practitioners Commend Trump Administration's Recommendations on Scope of Practice Laws

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AUSTIN, TEXAS -- The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) issued the following statement regarding the administration's recent release of a report entitled Reforming America's Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition. Prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in cooperation with the Departments of Treasury and Labor and the Federal Trade Commission, the report describes the extent to which state and federal laws, regulations, guidance and policies discourage choice and competition in health care markets.

According to the report, "States should consider changes to their scope-of-practice [SOP] statutes to allow all health care providers to practice to the top of their license" utilizing their full skillset. The report further notes, "economic analysis indicates that expanding APRN [advanced practice registered nurse] SOP, consistent with APRN education, training and experience, would have clear consumer benefits, particularly in rural and poorer areas."

"We commend the administration's efforts to ensure access to high-quality care is not harmed by needless barriers to practice. We wholeheartedly agree that outdated [SOP] laws need to be removed and all health care providers should practice to the top of their license, utilizing their full skill set," said Joyce M. Knestrick, PhD, APRN, C-FNP, FAANP, president of AANP.

"We share the aim of the administration that we all should be working together striving to create a health care system that works for patients and providers alike. We are encouraged and agree with the administration's recommendation that patients suffer when faced with barriers to access resulting from outdated [SOP] laws."

"We are encouraged and agree with the administration's recommendation that patients suffer when faced with barriers to access resulting from outdated [SOP] laws."—AANP President Dr. Joyce Knestrick

"The report's acknowledgment adds to the growing chorus and the body of research showing that patients and families greatly benefit from expanded access to NP-provided care. We look forward to continuing our work with state and federal lawmakers to increase patient access to affordable, high-quality care across the country," said David Hebert, CEO of AANP.

"We call on the administration to take further action toward retiring needless barriers to care for patients and request the Secretary use his regulatory authority to help make these changes. AANP looks forward to working with the administration, Congress and state legislatures to ensure patients have access to health care delivered by their provider of choice."

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 385,000 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 NP 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. For more information and to locate an NP in your community, visit