New Bill Would Make Utah APRNs Completely Independent

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Friday, February 5, 2021

A new bill introduced in Utah would remove the need for an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) to have a collaboration agreement with a physician when prescribing Schedule II controlled substances. This bill, House Bill 287 (HB 287), is sponsored by Representative Doug Welton. The bill has had its first reading and awaits assignment to a committee for further deliberation.
Currently, APRNs in Utah are largely independent. They do not require a written agreement with a physician to practice or to prescribe most medications. However, they do need to maintain a “consultation and referral plan” with a physician to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances. Under HB 287, this requirement would go away and APRNs would be able to prescribe all prescription drugs, including controlled substances from Schedule II to V.
Greater practice independence has been the biggest trend in APRN practice for the past several years. Utah already allows for what would be considered independent practice, but here we see that is not necessarily the end state. Frequently, states will pass new laws aimed at further refining or reducing the practice requirement for advanced practitioners once the largest requirements have been addressed. Here, HB 287 would take Utah APRNs from mostly independent to fully independent.
We will be monitoring HB 287 as it works its way through Utah’s legislative process this year.