Contact Legislators to Voice Opposition to Full Independent Practice of APNs

The Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing has introduced and is lobbying for Senate Bill 642, which would remove the requirement that most APNs (does not include CRNAs) practicing outside of a hospital or ASTC maintain a collaborative agreement with a physician.

The physician members of the Illinois State Medical Society are opposed to SB 642, a bill that would allow advanced practice nurses (APNs) to provide the same level of care as primary care physicians, treating patients with complicated medical conditions often times requiring equally complex treatments without any physician input.

The ISMS position paper has been distributed to every legislator.

  • Legislators asked ISMS to try to negotiate with the APNs. ISMS offered alternative language that would have provided for greater independence for APNs after meeting additional education and training requirements, but still would have a required a written practice agreement with a physician for prescriptions of Schedule II opioids and benzodiazepines as these drugs are extremely dangerous and highly abused. The ISMS alternative would have also prohibited from APNs from advertising as “Dr.,” which is extremely misleading to patients. The APNs rejected the proposal. They believe they should practice without any restrictions.
  • This bill would allow advanced practice nurses to provide the same level of care, completely independent from any physician collaboration, as family physicians, pediatricians, obstetricians, and other specialists.
  • Under their bill, APNs gain full prescriptive authority, including dangerous Schedule II drugs like opioids and benzodiazepines, without any physician input. This is not in the best interest of patients, particularly those who suffer from multiple medical conditions or require specialty care.
  • Allowing non-physician practitioners to expand their scope of practice through legislation rather than through education and training is not good public policy for improving access to quality care.
  • APNs will argue that they can fill a health care void in areas that suffer from physician shortages. This is not true. Research shows that in states where nurses practice independently, physicians and nurses continue to work in the same areas. Allowing the independent practice of APNs will not help solve the problem of health professional shortages in rural areas.

ISMS physicians are committed to ensuring that care is centered on each patient’s needs and that each patient receives high-quality care by a well-trained team of professionals. The APNs walked away from negotiations with ISMS. Please take time to contact your legislators and urge them to reject full independent practice for APNs. Urge them to vote NO on SB 642.

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