Arizona nurses want to administer anesthesia and write prescriptions without permission from a physician or surgeon. More than 200 nurses rallied at the state capitol yesterday to push for this change to the current legislation.
Under the nurses’ proposal, certified registered nurse anesthetists would be allowed to administer anesthesia without a licensed physician or surgeon being present.
Prescriptive authority would allow such certified practitioners, for example, to give a patient with nausea a prescription for medication the night before a surgery without first receiving approval from the surgeon. The nurses association called the change “long overdue” and “common-sense legislation.”
Following a five hour legislative hearing, the combined House and Senate committee approved a proposal to “expand the scope of practice of advanced practice nurses and allow them to have, in specific instances, the same privileges as physicians.” The committee will now introduce legislation during this session.
They (nurses) say this will give patients better and faster access to quality care. The nurses said this is especially critical because patient demand is taxing the healthcare system and many areas of Arizona are experiencing a physician shortage.
Addressing the challenges nurses face is critical to the future of health care according to the Arizona Action Coalition (AZAC). Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association President & CEO Greg Vigdor is on the AZAC leadership team, which is looking for new ways to transform the care delivery system by helping nurses “practice to the full extent of their education and training.”
Let us know what you think about the future of nursing in our state and how to best support those on the front lines of health and health care in Arizona.