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A bill that will expand access to primary care by enabling advanced practice registered nurses to provide more services has been approved by the General Assembly.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Monday that he will sign it into law.
"With the health care industry growing and changing, the role of advanced practice registered nurses remains critical," he said in a news release. "This bill increases access to primary care ... by allowing advanced practice registered nurses to do more of what they do so well - evaluating, screening, physical examinations and management of many routine medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and asthma."
The bill upholds existing requirements for advanced practice registered nurses to maintain a collaborative practice agreement with a physician during his or her first three years of practice. After that, the APRN would be authorized to practice alone or in collaboration with a physician or other health care provider and may diagnose and treat illnesses, and prescribe, dispense and administer medical therapeutics, corrective measures and drugs.
The Connecticut State Medical Society, which represents doctors, said it was very disappointed in the vote, "which provided little if any detail about the structure of the three-year collaboration, educational requirements, or oversight in establishing independent practice for APRNs."
"It is fundamentally an issue of patient safety and health care transparency," Dr. Michael Saffir, medical society president, said in a statement.