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New Law Affecting APRNs Takes Effect Today

Today, Senate Bill 7, signed by Governor Beshear on February 26, 2014, becomes effective. The new law allows for an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (“APRN”) to request to discontinue a Collaborative Agreement for Prescribing Authority for Non-Scheduled drugs (“CAPA-NS”) after having a CAPA-NS in place for four years. Specifically, the new law states:

After four (4) years of prescribing with a CAPA-NS in collaboration with a physician:

1.      An advanced practice registered nurse whose license is in good standing at that time with the Kentucky Board of Nursing and who will be prescribing nonscheduled legend drugs without a CAPA-NS shall notify that board that the four (4) year requirement has been met and that he or she will be prescribing nonscheduled legend drugs without a CAPA-NS;

2.      The advanced practice registered nurse will no longer be required to maintain a CAPA-NS and shall not be compelled to maintain a CAPA-NS as a condition to prescribe after the four (4) years have expired, but an advanced practice registered nurse may choose to maintain a CAPA-NS indefinitely after the four (4) years have expired; and

3.      If the advanced practice registered nurse's license is not in good standing, the CAPA-NS requirement shall not be removed until the license is restored to good standing.

APRNs will still need a written agreement to prescribe controlled substances, but Kentuckians will now have improved access to medications such as antibiotics, cholesterol, and diabetes medicines. Further, pursuant to the new law, APRNs who have been prescribing routine medications in another state for at least four years, either independently or pursuant to a collaborative agreement, will also be eligible for independent prescribing in Kentucky. The law also creates a Collaborative Prescribing Agreement Joint Advisory Committee that will oversee a program to allow for improved collaboration between APRNs and practicing physicians.

Senate Bill 7 was the first bill to pass the General Assembly. Advocates say it necessary, given the influx of patients that that Affordable Care Act and expansion of Medicaid is bringing into the health care system coupled with the shortage of primary care providers in the state’s rural areas.

APRNs will be notified via email (if an email address was provided), US mail, the KBN Connection and by notices on the KBN website when the request implementation process will begin. If you are an APRN and have questions about your licensing authority, contact a McBrayer health care attorney today.

 This article is intended as a summary of federal and state law and does not constitute legal advice.

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