New Bill Reduces Practice Requirements for Advanced Practice Nurses in Colorado

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, March 16, 2020

A new bill introduced in Colorado would allow advanced practice nurses to prescribe without the need for a written plan. The bill, House Bill 1216 (HB 1216), is sponsored by Representative Kyle Mullica and Senator Joann Ginal and has just passed a confirming vote of the House; from here, it heads to the Senate for further consideration. You can review the text of the bill in full here.
HB 1216 introduces a number of minor changes to Colorado’s current APRN practice laws, such as changing the title from “advanced practice nurse” to “advanced practice registered nurse” (APRN). However, the major change is in the providing APRNs the authority to prescribe medication and controlled substances. Currently, APRNs in Colorado require a written articulated plan with a physician or other advanced practice nurse to have prescriptive authority. Under HB 1216, once APRNs have at least three years of clinical work, they may be granted provisional prescriptive authority. With provisional prescriptive authority, the APRN can embark on a mentorship program with a physician or APRN with full practice authority that requires 750 hours of documented experience, after which they can apply for full prescriptive authority. With full prescriptive authority, the APRN does not need to maintain an articulated plan or mentorship relationship.
The national trend has been to allow APRNs to prescribe without needing separate authorization from a physician. HB 1216 is in line with that trend, but not as far along as many other states. We will be monitoring HB 1216 as it works its way through Colorado’s legislative process this year.