State legislation that would allow certain nurses to provide patient care with no physician involvement is tentatively scheduled for a public hearing before a key legislative committee later this month. While a public hearing does not necessarily signal further advancement in the legislative process, it does show the need for legislators to hear from their physician constituents.
The Wisconsin State Assembly’s Committee on Health is tentatively scheduled to meet July 29 on a variety of bills, including Assembly Bill 396 – a nursing omnibus bill that includes empowering Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) with the ability to diagnose and treat patients without needing to have any relationship with a physician. The Wisconsin Medical Society and other physician-led groups oppose the bill.
Among other provisions, AB 396:
- eliminates requirements for APRNs (certified nurse-midwives, certified registered nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners) to collaborate with physicians,
- writes into the statutes the ability for an APRN to assess, diagnose and treat patients, including prescribing most drugs, independently from a physician,
- mandates that the state "opt out" of federal certified registered nurse anesthetist supervision requirements, and
- eliminates current law requiring certified nurse midwives to have a collaborative arrangement with a physician who has experience with obstetrics.
Contact your legislators
With a public hearing looming, now is an opportune time to reach out to your State Senator and State Assembly Representative to let them know you support maintaining Wisconsin’s high quality, physician-led health care system. You can find your elected officials’ contact information on the State Legislature’s home page by putting your voting address in the “Who Are My Legislators?” box on the right side of the page.
When you contact your representatives in Madison, let them know that physicians offer the most education, training and experience that patients deserve when they seek care, and that removing physicians from the health care team threatens Wisconsin’s status as a national health care leader. Ask your elected officials to oppose moving any bill forward – including AB 396 and its Senate companion, SB 394 – that removes physicians from patient care.
To stay up-to-date on AB 396 and other developing advocacy topics, be sure to sign up for updates on WisMed Community’s Advocacy in Action page. Contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD for additional information.
Back to top