After years of lobbying and advocating, Nurse Practitioners in California now have full practice authority to better evaluate and diagnose patients utilizing their extensive education and experience. The end result will be expanded access to health care, especially in rural areas.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed bill AB 890 into law on Tuesday, drawing praise from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California and other organizations that have been calling for the restrictions on NP’s to be removed. The changes will be added in phases and AB 890 will be fully implemented in 2023.
Prior to the passage of the law, California held NP’s on “restricted practice authority” which kept them from providing many essential services unless a doctor was present. Bob Schoonover, President of SEIU California and SEIU Local 721, said the change is a win for Nurse Practitioners and patients alike because it will help ensure everyone has timely access to care.
“I applaud the 721 Nurse Practitioners who never gave up. They testified, lobbied and gave their time to improve the lives of the patients they serve. Over the next 10 years, California faces a critical and growing shortage of physicians – even as seven million Californians, the majority of them African American, Latino and Native American, are already experiencing inadequate access to primary care, which has profound and negative health consequences,” he said.
“AB 890 will help expand healthcare access and improve Californians’ health by allowing nurse practitioners to practice to the top of their training, and we applaud Governor Newsom for signing this critical legislation.”
- Grants full practice authority to Nurse Practitioners
- Significantly improves California’s efforts to close a growing and severe provider gap in the healthcare system
- Addresses the disproportionate primary care gap in communities of color and rural communities
SEIU Local 721 represents hundreds of Nurse Practitioners in Southern California including Ileana M. Meza, who works at LAC-USC. She has been advocating for this change for years and said it’s a happy day for all Californians.
“We are close to our communities and our patients. We are trained to provide top-notch primary care, and now California is freeing us to use our expertise and skill to the fullest extent of our training and education,” Meza said. “This is a real advance for our state and for underserved communities.”