5 key notes on nurses gaining more independence

In West Virginia and Florida, legislators passed measures allowing advanced practice nurses to provide services and prescribe most drugs without physician supervision, according to The Washington Post.

Here are five key notes:

1. Nurses argue expanding their roles allows them to care for people in underserved areas.

2. In the 1960s, a handful of states allowed nurses to have "full practice authority," allowing them to conduct certain procedures and prescribe drugs without a physician's oversight.

3. The American Medical Association has continually opposed allowing nurses to prescribe drugs or set up their own primary care offices. The AMA claims physician-led medical teams create better integration and coordination.

4. Many nurses counter they can create their own teams if physicians are not readily available and can refer patients to specialized services if needed.

5. Currently, 21 states and the District of Columbia implemented laws enacting full practice authority for nurses. In West Virginia, the Federal Trade Commission endorsed a bill, which would allow nurses to practice without "collaborative agreements" with physicians.

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