Legislator introduces bill to allow nurse practitioners full practice authority in California — 5 insights

California Assemblymember Jim Wood, DDS, D-Santa Rosa, introduced a bill that would grant nurse practitioners authority to practice to the full extent of their training in California, the Ukiah Daily Journal reports.

What you should know:

1. Dr. Wood introduced the bill in an attempt to get ahead of a predicted physician shortage.

2. Twenty-two states have enacted similar legislation.

3. If enacted, the bill is expected to increase the number of NPs by 25 percent.

Between 2010 to 2017, the number of practicing NPs increased by 29 percent in California. It's believed if the state would've passed a similar measure in 2010, the growth rate would've been 49 percent, resulting in 1,500 more NPs.

4. Enacting full practice authority by 2020, could cut up to 50,000 emergency department trips, which would save health systems more than $58 million annually.

5. Dr. Wood said, "The full practice authority of NPs will result in primary care that is comparable to that of a physician, without question. … We must recognize the value NPs with full practice authority will bring to the quality of care and the cost savings of care."

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