AZ APRN Coalition Update
Dear AZ APRNs:
We wanted to send you a quick update of what our plans are for this coming legislative session. The leaders of the various APRN groups have recently met and all are still committed to fighting to ensure that every APRN in Arizona will be able to practice to the full scope of their education and training. We all feel strongly that every citizen in Arizona deserves to have access to high quality affordable health care when they need it no matter where they live.
This year we will be returning to the legislature with an altered strategy. This year we will be submitting 2-3 smaller bills. We are hopeful that smaller focused bills will cut down on the confusion that many legislators used as a reason not to support last year's bill.
We plan to submit a bill that will remove physician collaboration language for Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives. The bill will also create a separate description of the existing scope of practice for CNM in the "Definitions" section of the Arizona law, similar to what the NPs have now. Since neither of these proposals represent a change in current scope of practice and only a clarification of existing scope, this bill will not be going through the sunrise process.
We will also be submitting a bill to remove physician presence and direction language for CRNAs and to restore prescriptive authority in healthcare facilities so CRNAs can obtain their DEA numbers again. Since this bill will change a CRNAs scope of practice this bill will have to go through the sunrise process and have a sunrise hearing similar to last year's hearing.
We will not be submitting legislation this year for Clinical Nurse Specialists. Instead we will be working closely with multiple health care organizations across the state to build up a coalition specifically to assist the CNS in achieve full practice authority. We are hopeful that we will be ready to submit that legislation in the 2018 legislative session.
These bills will not address every issue facing Arizona's APRNs. We still have a long list of outdated regulations that we plan to address in the coming years including; universal title "APRN" for all four roles; license APRNs instead of state certification; joining the APRN Multistate Compact; work with the department of health and insurance commission to remove out dated policies and regulations; and ensure that all of Arizona regulatory bodies allow Arizona's APRNs to practice in an open and fair market place. We also have a goal of having one registered nurse and one Advanced Practice Nurse become a member of the legislature by 2022.
These changes are going to take multiple years, a lot of time, and a lot of resources. All of the APRN groups across the state are committed to working together to making sure we accomplish these goals. If you are not already a member of the Arizona Nurses Association or one of the several APRN organizations we urge you to please become a member. We need your support and your membership dues to help support these very expensive endeavors. If you have never contributed to the Arizona Nurses Associations Political Action Committee, please do so today. These funds are used very strategically to support legislators that support Arizona's APRNs. When we have won the support of key legislators it is crucial that we do what we can to keep them in office. One way of doing this is to help fund their reelection campaigns through the AZNA PAC. It is also important that we vote for legislators that support us. Before you vote this year please see who the Arizona Nurses Associations is endorsing at http://www.aznurse.org/?page=PP02. Each of the endorsed candidates have stated that they 1) support full practice authority for Arizona's APRNs and 2) that their support is not based on agreement from the Arizona Medical Society. If you live in the district of an endorsed candidate, please contact him or her and offer your congratulations and assistance. We need to begin now to start forging positive relationships with state legislators who will be considering our bills when they come before committees and final vote.
If you would like to get more involved in advancing our profession, please contact us or one of the leaders in any of the nursing organizations that make up the APRN Coalition.
Momentum is on our side. This is something we will eventually win but we need your help. We do not need any more cheerleaders on the sidelines. We need more leaders and soldiers. Please become a part of this historic change as we move our profession into the modern era of healthcare.
Randy Quinn RN, MSN, CRNA, APRN
Denise Link PHD, NP, FAAN, FAANP
Co-Chair Arizona APRN Coalition