|February 26, 2021
Committee Delays Debate on Bill to Eliminate Nurse Practitioner Training
The Maine Legislature’s Joint Committee On Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services held a public hearing last week on a bill that would remove from law any post-graduate supervision and training requirements for newly licensed advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) and would leave the development of scope and standards of practice entirely under the purview of the Maine State Board of Nursing and decision makers outside of Maine.
If the bill becomes law there will be no requirement for newly graduated advanced practice registered nurses to have any post graduate training upon graduating from an accredited nurse practice educational program, while keeping in place residency requirements for physicians.
If LD 295 passes, the only legal requirements for licensure in Maine for nurse practitioners will be:
Advanced practice registered nurse's scope of practice will be specified by the Board of Nursing by rulemaking, “taking into consideration any national standards that exist;” and
Standards of practice for advanced practice registered nurses would also be overseen by the Nursing Board, “taking into consideration any national standards that may exist.”
A certified nurse practitioner or a certified nurse midwife who qualifies as an advanced practice registered nurse may prescribe and dispense drugs or devices, or both, in accordance with rules adopted by the board.
The following section of law will be removed by passing LD 295:
If LD 295 becomes law, physicians will still be required to complete residency, PAs will still need 4,000 hours of training and collaboration under a law passed last year, but nurse practitioners will be allowed by state law to practice independently from day one after graduation.
We are asking legislators to not be fooled by the argument that the NP is practicing "nursing" and not "medicine." It is a distinction without a difference under longstanding Maine law. The scope of practice for advanced practice nursing, by law only, is the functional equivalent to that of a physician in the field despite the training and educational differences.
The Committee has not yet rescheduled discussion, debate, and a potential vote on LD 295. It is critically important for patient safety that as many MMA members as possible reach out to legislators on the committee to express your opposition to the bill.
You can watch/listen to the full February 18 hearing on the bill by clicking here.
Retired neurologist, and state Representative, Patty Hymanson, M.D., provided testimony in opposition. It can be found here.
Committee Members and the communities they represent are listed below. Click on their names for contact Information:
Senator Heather Sanborn Westbrook and part of Portland – Chair
Senator Stacy Brenner Scarborough/Gorham
Senator Trey Stewart Numerous towns in Aroostook County
Representative Denise Tepler Topsham – Chair
Representative Poppy Arford Brunswick
Representative Mark Blier Limington / Standish (Part) / Buxton (Part) / Limerick (Part)
Representative Heidi Brooks Lewiston
Representative Jon Connor Lewiston
Representative Richard Evans Atkinson/ Brownville/ Dover-Foxcroft/ Lake View/ Medford/ Milo/ Orneville Township
Representative Kristi Mathieson Kittery
Representative Joshua Morris Leeds/ Turner/ Livermore (Part)
Representative Tracy Quint Amity/ Bancroft/ Benedicta Township/ Cary/ Glenwood/ Haynesville/ Hodgdon/ Houlton/ Macwahoc/ Orient/ Reed/ Weston/ Molunkus Township/ Silver Ridge Township/ South Aroostook
Please contact MMA Director of Communications and Government Affairs, Dan Morin at email@example.com or by phone at 207-480-4199 for more information or background on the bill or questions about contacting committee legislators in opposition of the bill.
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