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Ohio bill would allow APRNs to practice independently

A new Ohio General Assembly bill would allow advanced practice registered nurses to work independently of physicians, an idea the Ohio State Medical Association calls potentially dangerous to patients  (Source: “Ohio bill would give advance practice registered nurses independence from doctors,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, Aug. 30, 2018).

Rep. Theresa Gavarone, a Bowling Green Republican, said House Bill 726 addresses primary care physician shortages throughout the state. But the medical association disputes there are shortages.

Advanced practice registered nurses, called APRNs, diagnose and treat diseases and can prescribe medicine. APRNs must enter mandatory collaboration agreements with doctors under current Ohio law. 

More than 20 U.S. states and the Veterans Administration allow APRNs to practice independently of doctors, Gavarone said.

The medical association, on the other hand, argues that physicians undergo expensive, intensive training to understand the human body. APRNs provide a valuable service, but physicians need to lead medical teams because of their extensive knowledge, said Reggie Fields, a spokesman for the medical association.