Press Releases & Announcements

Veto of Nebraska Bill Jeopardizes Patient Access to Care,
Nurse Practitioners Warn

Maintaining regulatory barriers risks driving providers out of state, according to AANP

AUSTIN, TX (April 23, 2014) Angela Golden and Ken Miller, Co-Presidents of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), today said that Governor Heineman's surprise veto of Legislative Bill 916 was a missed opportunity to provide Nebraska patients with full and direct access to nurse practitioner services, while improving the efficiency of the state's health care workforce.

Golden and Miller said, "the American Association of Nurse Practitioners is extremely disheartened that Nebraskans will continue to face challenges accessing care from their nurse practitioner workforce due to outdated state regulations. A majority of counties in Nebraska face primary care and mental health provider shortages, a problem this bill would have addressed with zero cost to taxpayers and zero delay.

"Governor Heineman's explanation for his veto – that he would have signed the bill if it had required nurse practitioners to have another 2,000 hours of clinical experience – is inconsistent with decades of independent research showing that nurse practitioners provide high-quality, safe, cost-effective care without these bureaucratic requirements. The bill the Governor vetoed is in fact more restrictive than the laws already in place in 13 of the 17 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia, that allow patients full and direct access to all nurse practitioner services.

"Exacerbating the problem for Nebraskans is the risk that many nurse practitioners will leave the state for more favorable regulatory environments, where they can serve patients without the fear of their practice suddenly shuttering because of issues with their mandated collaborator. New Mexico has already launched a marketing campaign to recruit nurse practitioners from neighboring states. More may very well follow suit as health care workforce challenges become increasingly severe.

"As these developments unfold, AANP will continue advocating for the health of patients in Nebraska and elsewhere as we work toward closing the gap between the care that nurse practitioners are educated to provide and the care that dated regulations allow patients to directly access.

"We are grateful for the hard work of the nurse practitioners, bill sponsors and legislators who supported this important legislation."

Legislative Bill 916 would have ended Nebraska's mandated physician involvement in nurse practitioner practice, retiring the requirement for a career-long collaborative agreement and granting new nurse practitioners with less than 2,000 hours of practice the ability to collaborate with experienced nurse practitioners.

The Governor's actions overturn a unanimous vote of the unicameral Nebraska Senate, which approved the bill 43-0, and flies in the face of recommendations from the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures, as well leading policy organizations such as The Institute of Medicine.




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 over 189,000 NPs, including more than 50,000 individual members and 203 organizations, providing a unified networking platform and advocating for their role as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered and personalized health care. The organization 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. 

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