FPA in Kansas for Nurse Practitioners
As of April 15, 2022, Gov. Laura Kelly signs into law the ability for nurse practitioners to practice independently with no physician supervision. This bipartisan victory makes Kansas the 26th state to adopt FPA (Full Practice Authority). This move gives patients direct access to primary care from nurse practitioners (NPs) and other advanced registered nurses. SkillGigs joins Kansas in celebration! This is big news for the SkillGigs nurse community and healthcare providers everywhere. This post further explores what this means for Kansas and how other states can benefit from making this shift.
What is FPA, and what does it provide nurse practitioners?
You may be wondering what FPA is and what it will do for patient care. FPA is the authorization of nurse practitioners (NPs) to evaluate, diagnose, order, and interpret diagnostic tests for patients while also initiating and managing treatments, including prescribed medications — under the exclusive licensure authority of the state board of nursing. Nurse practitioners must hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing, become a licensed registered nurse, graduate from a nationally accredited graduate NP program that meets national standards, and pass a national NP certification exam. For over 50 years, states began regulating NPs beyond their nursing licensure. Unfortunately, even after meeting all their requirements, inconsistencies in how state laws authorize NP practice are still present. This patchwork of practice authorization has led to considerable challenges for NPs and their patients. NPs strongly believe that adopting FPA in states will bridge the gap between primary care and patient.
According to AANP (American Association of Nurse Practitioners®), NPs in FPA states are more likely to practice in underserved communities. As a result, they have significantly improved NP workforce recruitment while meeting the highest quality patient care and safety standards. During these times, this is a complete win-win, with labor shortages and concerns around the new nursing professional pipeline. In contrast, states that continue to restrict NPs from practicing independently are experiencing geographic healthcare disparities, higher chronic disease burden, primary care shortages, and higher care costs with lower national health rankings.
How does FPA benefit patients overall?
- Improves Access to care, especially in underserved rural communities.
- Streamlines Care and Makes Care Delivery More Efficient, which eliminates delays in care created when an NP is mandated by contract to only practice with a physician present.
- Decreases Costs associated with outdated physician oversight of NP practice, reducing unnecessary repetition of orders, office visits, and care services
- Protects Patient Choice, allowing patients to see a healthcare provider of their choice, removing anti-competitive licensing restrictions that interfere with patient-centered health care.
Kansas is further prioritizing patient care and delivering equal access to all. Undoubtedly, NPs give high-quality care to more than 1 billion patient visits a year. In the U.S., more than 355,000 licensed NPs are providing critical care in communities of all sizes. U.S. News and World Report ranked the NP role first on its 2022 Best Health Care Jobs list.
More states adopting FPA means more travel opportunities for nurse practitioners ready to spring into action. SkillGigs is a talent marketplace designed to connect you with jobs you are interested in. We provide job opportunities; you are in control of your salary, work schedule, and where you land. With SkillGigs, it is just that simple.
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