Kelly signs bill expanding authority of Kansas advanced practice RNs

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TOPEKA — The Kansas and national associations of nurse practitioners praised action by the Kansas Legislature and Gov. Laura Kelly to reduce regulatory barriers to licensed advanced practice registered nurses practicing independently, including prescribing of medication without written authorization of a physician.

“This is a major milestone in health care for Kansas and for our nation,” said April Kapu, president of national nurse practitioner organization. “We celebrate as Kansas becomes the 26th state to grant patients full and direct access to nurse practitioners’ care. The majority of states have now adopted this legislative model, known as full practice authority.”

Under House Bill 2279, state law governing nurses was modified to permit advanced practice RNs to prescribe medications as well as require these nurses to maintain malpractice insurance and secure national certification for initial licensure as an advanced practice RN.

It also requires these medical professionals comply with federal Drug Enforcement Administration requirements related to controlled substances.

Kelly signed the bill approved by the House on a vote of 80-34 and by the Senate by a margin of 30-7.

“Kansas, like so many other states, is experiencing a health care shortage — especially in rural parts of the state,” Kelly said. “This will improve the availability of high quality health care by empowering APRNs to reduce local and regional care gaps.”

Amy Siple, an advanced practice RN and president of the state association, said the new law would increase Kansans’ access to care. She said the reform was a step toward “greater access, quality outcomes and reduced regulatory barriers.”

New York state adopted the full practice standard this year. Delaware and Massachusetts approved the nursing authority model in 2021.

Kansas Reflector is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kansas Reflector maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sherman Smith for questions: Follow Kansas Reflector on Facebook and Twitter.

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