Arkansas Passes Bill Independent Practice for NPs

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Friday, April 23, 2021

Arkansas has become the most recent state to pass a bill providing independent practice for nurse practitioners (NPs). House Bill 1258 (Act 412) passed both the House and Senate and has been signed into law as Act 412.
Act 412 allows NPs to gain full independent practice authority, including the ability to prescribe after a period of 6,240 hours of collaborative practice with a physician. After they have completed their period of collaborative practice, NPs can apply for independent practice. Once granted, this full independent practice would need to be renewed every three years. The act also creates a new Full Independent Practice Credentialing Committee, which will work in concert with the Arkansas State Medical Board and the Arkansas State Board of Nursing in approving and setting rules for NPs. The committee is made up of four physicians and four NPs appointed by the governor, with the directors of the nursing and medical boards serving as ex officio members.
As is often the case with major changes in licensed practice, it may be some time before Arkansas NPs are able to enjoy this new independence. Although Act 412 is now law, there will be a period of time during which the committee members need to be selected and the form of the application, fees and any other rules must be adopted. Typically, these issues will need to be in place before the first eligible NPs are granted full independent practice authority.