Florida House Bill 607 would remove regulatory barriers that prohibit Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) from practicing to the full extent of their education and training.
Florida is, and continues to be, a growth state. In fact, over 900 people a day are choosing to make Florida home. That’s why we must continue to develop innovative, forward-thinking ideas that allow Floridians to receive the high-quality care they need, when they need it and at a price they can afford.
This session Florida has that opportunity.
House Bill (HB) 607, sponsored by state Rep. Cary Pigman, an emergency medicine physician, would provide an immediate, positive impact on access to care, especially in our underserved and rural communities. HB 607 would remove regulatory barriers that prohibit Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) from practicing to the full extent of their education and training. Currently, Florida is one of the most restrictive states in the country that limits APRNs’ ability to practice.
Florida has already seen positive benefits from legislation allowing psychiatric mental health APRNs with national advanced practice certification to treat and safely prescribe. This small change has increased the number of psychiatric mental health APRNs in Florida from seven in 2015 when the legislation was enacted to over 507 in 2019.
Since that time, hospitals have increasingly integrated these highly qualified APRN providers into their clinical teams to respond to the rising need for emergency psychiatric care. As a result, our hospitals’ ability to provide timely patient evaluation, treatment and referral to the appropriate care setting has improved. Allowing our psychiatric certified APRNs to practice to the full extent of their education and training has increased access and demonstrates the critical opportunity for Florida to further expand access to care by extending the same policy to all APRNs.
Removing restrictions on all APRNs is proven to be safe and effective. It will ensure more patients in need of medical attention have access to a provider, are seen and treated sooner, all while reducing costs. This is particularly important in Florida, where 21 percent of adults do not have access to a primary care provider, according to the Kaiser Foundation.
The far-reaching impact of reducing regulatory barriers for APRNs has been realized in 30 other states and now is the time for Florida to join their ranks.