Press Releases & Announcements

Kentucky Lawmakers Fail to Act on Bill That Would Improve Patient Access to Health Care

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners expresses disappointment

AUSTIN, TX (March 28, 2013)– Angela Golden, President of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), said today that the Kentucky legislature's failure to act on Senate Bill 43 will make it harder for state residents to obtain quality health care by barring access to direct and comprehensive services provided by nurse practitioners (NPs).

"The American Association of Nurse Practitioners is extremely disappointed that Kentucky continues to prevent patients from directly accessing high-quality health care services provided by NPs. Nowhere in the industry is it acceptable to limit patients the best that health care had to offer not two or even three, but four decades ago. However, that is exactly what states are doing when we keep these dated state practice laws in place.

"The health care services we provide – writing prescriptions, evaluating patients, making diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, and managing acute and chronic health conditions – have been proven safe and effective for more than 40 years. There are more than 60 medically underserved counties across the state and every one would have benefited from the provisions in this bill.

"It is equally disappointing that the community of organized medicine in Kentucky went beyond simply opposing the bill by introducing counter legislation to increase state restrictions on NPs. This move flies in the face of recommendations by a growing number of independent entities (e.g., the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine) that call for modernizing state practice laws governing NPs. Such organizations understand that these changes are necessary in today's health care environment.

"The legislation that was before the Kentucky legislature did not expand NPs' scope of practice. It simply retired an outdated, bureaucratic piece of paper that prevents patients from having direct and full access to NP care. Removing this dated provision would have opened access points in rural and underserved counties, and streamlined care in all sites around the state.

"AANP and those who supported these measures remain committed to ensuring access and health delivery improvement. These pro-patient bills are planned to be reintroduced in 2014."


The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for NPs of all specialties. It represents the interests of the nation's 155,000 NPs, including more than 42,000 individual members and 190 groups, providing a unified networking platform and advocating for their role as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered and personalized health care.

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