Second Bill Filed in Arkansas for NP Independent Practice

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Wednesday, March 3, 2021

A new bill filed in Arkansas would reduce practice restrictions for certified nurse practitioners (NPs). The bill’s primary sponsors are Representative Lee Johnson and Senator Kim Hammer, and it is known as House Bill 1258 (HB 1258); you can read the full text here. Hammer also sponsored a similar independent practice bill in the Senate, which we covered here. HB 1258 has received favorable treatment from the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee, which has recommended it be passed with its amendments.
HB 1258 would allow NPs to practice independently within their statutory scope of practice. Currently, NPs in Arkansas require written practice agreements with a collaborating physician to practice. These agreements authorize their scope and location of practice as well as their prescriptive authority. HB 1258 would allow NPs to be granted the removal of this requirement once they have completed 6,240 hours of collaborative practice with a physician. NPs granted this full independent practice would need to renew their licenses every three years with the newly formed Full Independent Practice Credentialing Committee, which would work in concert with the medical and nursing boards in overseeing these NPs.
The national trend has been moving toward allowing NPs to practice as independent health care providers without the need for the direct supervision of physicians. HB 1258 is in line with that trend and, if passed, would allow Arkansas NPs to become independent health care providers in their own right.
We will be monitoring HB 1258 as it works its way through Arkansas’s legislative process this year.