New Bill Would Grant Independent Practice to Nurse Practitioners in California

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Wednesday, March 6, 2019

A new bill introduced in California would allow nurse practitioners (NPs) to practice without the need for physician supervision. The bill is introduced by Assembly Member Jim Wood and is currently with the Business and Professions Code awaiting a hearing. You can review the text of House Bill 890 (AB 890) in full here.    While not a lengthy Bill at all AB 890 would bring major changes to California’s current NP practice laws. Currently NPs in CA require a standardized protocol with a supervising physician to practice. AB 890 would allow NPs who have practiced under physician supervision for a certain number of hours (not yet determined) to practice independently. In addition to the normal scope of practice these NPs would also be able to 1) conduct advanced assessments, 2) order diagnostic procedures, 3) establish diagnoses, 4) prescribe and institute therapies, 5) delegate tasks to medical assistants, 6) perform disability examinations, and 7) other acts that require training and education and that are recognized as appropriate. NPs practicing independently under AB 890 would need to maintain professional liability insurance and to refer patients to other health care providers in situations that are beyond the scope of education and training for NPs. The national trend has been moving towards allowing NPs to practice as independent healthcare providers and not dependent on the supervision of physicians. In that regard AB 890 is right in line with that trend and if passed would make California NPs independent health care providers in their own right.   We will be monitoring AB 890 as it works its way through California’s legislative process this year. Given the number of co-authors (9) this Bill seems to have some support. If you would like to contact AB 890’s prime sponsor Jim Wood can be reached via his website.