United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses of Georgia

Legislative Call to Action Committee hearing on SB 386 imminent

Posted about 7 years ago by Laura Searcy

Legislative Call to Action, February 20, 2012.  Letters and phone calls needed over the next 72 hours.

Thank you to those who have responded to my prior request for patient care examples. Please keep the stories coming as to how the current restriction to ordering radiological imaging exams like MRI’s and CT scans is negatively affecting patient care.

Letters and phone calls to the following Senators in support of SB 386 are needed in the next 48 hours, as a subcommittee hearing in imminent. A sample letter is attached with a section in the middle of the letter for you to add your own comments. Please personalize this section and do not send “as is”.

The priority is members of the Senate Health Care Delivery Subcommittee:

Senator William Ligon, Chairman

Senator Greg Goggans               

Senator Johnny Grant     our bill’s sponsor, thank him

Senator Miriam Paris       

The following web page has active links to the contact information of all of the Senators including those above: 


Please call their offices and either give this message to their administrative assistant or leave on the machine.

I am an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse working in a (describe your clinical site {adult primary care, hospital acute care, specialty, rural clinic, etc.}. Please support SB 386 which will improve the quality of care to my patients. Please identify yourself accordingly if you live in the area of the state that they serve.

Any letters or calls from the physicians you work with, patients, or others who would support this bill would be extremely helpful. Contact me if you have any questions, or have more patient examples to send. laurafsearcy@gmail.com

The letter follows and is attached as well.

Dear Senator ________

I am an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) who lives in your district and I am asking you to support SB 386. This bill removes the restriction that prevents my ordering of diagnostics studies such as CT and MRI scans unless there is a “life threatening situation”

Georgia is the only state in the United States with this restriction. Since 2006 all other delegated medical acts, including diagnostic studies like x-rays and ultrasounds have been successfully governed by the Nurse Protocol Agreement between the APRN and their collaborating physician. This physician must be available to consult if there is any question about patient care. There is no evidence that these imaging exams cannot also be regulated through the Nurse Protocol Agreement.

As Georgia’s critical shortage of primary care physicians worsens, more APRN’s are providing expert care to patients at clinical sites where a physician is not always present. The need to stop and obtain a doctor’s signature causes delay in ordering. There is additional delay in the reporting of results to the practitioner actually who saw the patient, as only the doctor’s name is on the order and all results are sent only to this physician. A patient must sometimes be sent to another facility in order for a timely diagnosis

An example of how this restriction interferes with patient care is… (Describe a situation from your practice here)

APRN’s hold Masters Degrees at a minimum and are Nationally Board Certified in their field. Ordering diagnostic studies, including radiographic imaging tests is part of what I am trained and certified to do. 40 years of research have shown that APRN’s provide high quality, cost effective care. There is no evidence that patient safety, health care costs or liability would be increased if this restriction were removed.

Laws and regulations for health care professionals exist to protect the public. However regulations without the evidence to support them diminish public safety because they decrease the availability of care to those in need. Without such access, health outcomes diminish and costs rise.

It makes no sense to prevent me from ordering diagnostic studies that I am qualified to order unless my patients condition is “life threatening”. Please support SB 386. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. 

Name and credentials 

Thank you everyone. Expect frequent updates over the next few weeks as we try to move this legislation forward.