With the passing of HB 607 (Independent Practice) on March 11, 2020 there have been numerous questions sent in for clarification. We know everyone has questions so we hope this page will provide some of the answers. If you have a question that is not answered here, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Last update 5/21/2020)
- When can I complete the application? Where do I find it? Unfortunately there is no application yet. APRNs do not automatically assume independent practice when the law takes effect on July 1st. The Board of Nursing has their board meeting June 5th and we expect to learn more at this time. The Board of Nursing asks that no one sends in any prior information as they can not predetermine if you are eligible for the independent practice license.
- Are ALL nurse practitioners able to practice independently? Unfortunately no. Nurse Practitioners who are issued a licensed to practice autonomously/independently, must engage in such practice only in primary practice, including family medicine, general pediatrics, and general internal medicine, as defined by board rule. Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) are also able to practice independently.
- Are psychiatric nurse practitioners included? Unfortunately no. Psychiatric nurse practitioners, any specialty nurse practitioners, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS), and Physician Assistants (PA) were removed from the final amended version of this bill.
- Why weren't other groups/specialties included? They were included in the original version of HB 607. As the legislative process moved forward the bill was amended and approved by both the House and the Senate. FLANP continuously advocated for the original version of the bill throughout the 2020 session. In some ways we won the battle and in some ways we lost. The good news is now that we have a start and have gained support of the House and Senate, we will have a little easier time advocating for other groups/specialties in the future. This is on our agenda for the next session!
- Can I apply now to practice independently? Unfortunately no. The law does not go into effect until July 1, 2020. The next step is for the Board of Nursing and the new council to work on the guidelines and processes. As soon as we have more information on this we will let you know.
- With the passage of the Independent practice bill, are we now able to sign DNR's, terminal condition forms, etc.? Once the law takes effect on July 1, 2020 AND the APRN license of independent practice is successfully issued, the NP is granted signature authority which includes the Baker Act involuntary examination, signing death certificates, admitting/discharging patients from a facility and “provide a signature, certification, stamp, verification, affidavit, or endorsement that is otherwise required by law to be provided by a physician (except for medical cannabis)".
- I graduated over 5 years ago but the new law will be requiring a completion of 3 graduate-level semester hours in differential diagnosis and the completion of 3 graduate-level semester hours in pharmacology, do I have to go back to school? Many NPs are in the same situation as this and we expect that there will be an equivalent requirement or some type of grandfather clause to allow for completion of the determined courses. The next step is for the Board of Nursing and the new council to work on the guidelines. FLANP will be involved in this process and will be advocating for an equivalent and/or grandfather clause.
- What is your advice for obtaining the necessary 3 hours of CEU in differential diagnosis and pharmacology? Do you think it will be offered online prior to July when the law becomes active? Unfortunately we do not have an answer for this yet. We are curious and looking into this as well. As soon as we have more information regarding what the Board of Nursing and new council determines are the equivalents to the college courses we will let you know.
- How will this impact our ability to be providers on health insurance plans without a collaborating physician? This law doesn’t supersede CMS policies so we will get what we have been getting. It made it so insurance companies can’t force patients to see an NP over a physician and can’t discriminate against NPs ONLY BECAUSE they are NPs.
- Since CMS is Federal- will we still need to get a physician signature on 485s and Home Health Care orders? As of April 30th, CMS issued an interim final rule that permanently implements section 3708 of the CARES Act, retroactively effective on March 1, 2020. Please visit our CARES Act page for more information.
- Will we be able to sign home health certifications, and will we be able to prescribe schedule II drugs longer than 7 days at a time with independent practice? These are 2 separate questions. As of April 30th, CMS issued an interim final rule that permanently implements section 3708 of the CARES Act, retroactively effective March 1, 2020. Visit our CARES Act page for more information. The DEA legislation is also enshrined in other statutes and that applies until otherwise changed.