Legislative Update from our friends at CAPRN
2015-2016 Legislative End-of-Session Report
By Julie Hannah, FNP-C, CAPRN Secretary
Thank you to Julianna McConnell for compiling these reports, and speaking to legislators on behalf of CAPRN. Unfortunately, most of the bills we supported did not pass, including:
HB 997, the bill that would have allowed APRNs to join physicians in receiving a state tax credit for precepting students. It stalled in committee like it did last year.
SB 314, the bill that would have given APRNs a separate license instead of just an "endorsement" on their RN license, as well as adding a fingerprinting requirement for license renewals, passed the Senate but was never brought to the House floor for a vote.
HB 944, the bill that would have allowed NPs to pronounce death for patients in a nursing home or hospice care did not pass.
HB 746, which would have given employees five days of paid leave per year to care for sick family members, was opposed by business interests and did not pass.
HB 212, which would have given CRNAs working in pain clinics the ability to administer anesthesia without a physician on-site, did not pass.
- SB 115, which would have granted hydrocodone-only Schedule II prescriptive privileges to physician assistants, did not pass, even the watered-down version that limited the prescription to 15 days.
One bill that did pass, HB 952, gives executive power to the Governor to veto or re-write regulations issued by the Georgia medical and nursing boards. The revision that would have given that role to the Secretary of State did not stay.
The Budget: loan repayment funding for APRNs working in rural areas totals $200,000, which is not much. Still, it is a step in the right direction towards helping APRNs work in underserved areas.
On the bright side, it was wonderful to see so many APRNs and students participating at the General Assembly this year, making us more visible to legislators. It is a good start, but there is a long way to go. State and House representatives need to hear from you and your grateful patients, all year long, about better funding for APRN education, opposing bills that aim to limit competition amongst similarly-qualified healthcare providers, and removing the barriers to our ability to practice and be reimbursed for it. Without consistent grassroots support for and campaign donations by APRN organizations to legislators who will stand up on our behalf during the closed-door dealings that determine the fate of most bills, we can not hope to change the climate in Georgia for APRN practice. So don't be discouraged, persistence is key to getting the slowly-grinding wheels of progress moving in our legislature.