New Bill Would Give More Collaborating Options to Nurse Practitioners in Mississippi

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, January 14, 2019

New Bill Would Give More Collaborating Options to Nurse Practitioners in Mississippi   A new bill was filed last week in the Mississippi House of Representatives for the 2019 legislative session. If passed this would allow advanced practice registered nurses (NP) to form their collaboration agreements with other licensed persons. This would make Mississippi part of a nationwide trend of allowing NPs more freedom to practice. The bill, known as HB 31, can be read in full here. Initially, HB 31 has been referred to the Public Health and Human Services for initial consideration.   Currently, NPs must practice in collaboration with a physician as embodied in a written "practice agreement." Since a NP is only permitted to practice in collaboration with a physician this can create some difficulty when that collaboration ends. The NP would be unable to practice as an NP until they have found a new physician to form an agreement with. If passed, HB 31 would allow NPs whose “practice agreements” have ended to collaborate with other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNS) if they are unable to join with a new physician. This new type of nursing collaboration is subject to a few requirements: (1) The practice agreement must have ended through no fault of the NP, such as through the retirement of the collaborating physician, (2) the NP must demonstrate a good faith effort to find a new physician to collaborate with, and (3) with Board of Nursing approval the NP may form a new practice agreement with an APRN who has been practicing for at least 3,600 hours. NPs who collaborate with way no longer need to have their patient charts reviewed by a physician.   The national trend with NPs and APRNs has been toward fully independent practice without any need to be supervised or collaborate with another licensee. In this light HB 31 is a step towards greater independence but it is far from providing fully independent practice authority that other states have implemented. We will be monitoring this HB 31 as it advances through the Mississippi legislative process this year.  If you have specific questions or comments on HB 31 you may contact Representative Jay Hughes, the Bill’s sponsor, at his website.