‘Floridians Unite for Health Care’ Coalition Applauds House Speaker Oliva for Recognizing Donna Bixler as Nurse Practitioner of the Day

‘Floridians Unite for Health Care’ coalition today applauded House Speaker Jose Oliva for recognizing Donna Bixler, ARNP-C, as the Nurse Practitioner of the Day in the Legislative Clinic.

“It is such an honor to receive this recognition from House Speaker Jose Oliva,” said Bixler.  “I am proud to follow in the footsteps of Drs. Vicky Stone-Gale and Doreen Cassarino, who also served as Nurse Practitioner of the Day in the Legislative Clinic this session.  The legislation by Representative Cary Pigman – House Bill 607 – is imperative to increasing access to safe and quality health care in Florida, especially in rural areas of the state.  I thank Speaker Oliva and Representative Pigman for their efforts and hope our elected leaders support this public policy that will give APRNs the opportunity to practice to our full potential and help more Floridians with their health care needs.”

Bixler is a family nurse practitioner affiliated with the Internal Medicine division at Southern Medical Group in Tallahassee, Fla., where she has practiced since 1998. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Masters of Science in Nursing from Florida State University. She also holds a national certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Representative Cary Pigman, M.D. (R-Avon Park) is the sponsor of HB 607, relating to Health Care Practitioners, in the Florida House. HB 607 would allow APRNs to be able to practice to the full extent of their education and training. Speaker of the Florida House Jose Oliva has also expressed his support for the bill.

“Advancing the state of health care is continually a big issue in Florida and across the nation,” said Nicole Livanos, senior associate in state advocacy and legislative affairs for National Council of State Boards of Nursing and a spokesperson for the ‘Floridians Unite for Health Care’ coalition.  “With health care ranked in the bottom 25 percent in America – ranked 41st for health care access and affordability in Florida – it is vital Florida lawmakers consider advancing HB 607, which would help address the physician shortage that is contributing to these alarming statistics, this session.  The wide-ranging support the ‘Floridians Unite for Health Care’ coalition has received demonstrates how many others agree it is time to modernize our health care laws, remove the current barriers that prevent APRNs from practicing to their full extent and allow more Floridians access to health care.  We encourage Florida lawmakers to join House Speaker Oliva and Representative Pigman in support of HB 607.”

Floridians Unite for Health Care is a newly formed coalition made up of several nursing organizations, including the Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists (FANA)Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners (FLANP)Florida Coalition of Advanced Practice Nurses (FLCAPN)Florida Nurses Association (FNA)Florida Nurse Practitioner Network (FNPN), and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN); members of the business, health care, and insurance community, including the Associated Industries of Florida (AIF)BraeburnFlorida Academy of Physician Assistants (FAPA)Florida Association of Health Plans (FAHP)Florida Association of Health UnderwritersFlorida Association of Professional Employer Organizations (FAPEO)Florida BlueFlorida Chamber of CommerceFlorida Health Care Association (FHCA)Florida Hospital Association (FHA)Florida Insurance Council (FIC)Florida Retail Federation (FRF)UnitedHealth Group, and WellCare; as well as political advocacy groups, including the Americans for Prosperity-Florida (AFP-FL).

For more information on the Floridians Unite for Health Care coalition, please visit FloridiansUniteforHealthCare.com.

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