News Headlines Article

State Senate passes nurse practitioner bill
Southern California Public Radio

The California Senate approved a bill Thursday that would give nurse practitioners the right to treat patients without a doctor’s oversight in certain circumstances.

SB 323 passed on a 25 to 5 vote, and now moves on to the Assembly.

Currently, nurse practitioners must have a doctor oversee their work. Under the bill, they would be allowed to treat, diagnose and prescribe medications without that oversight, so long as they were affiliated with a medical group. Those unaffiliated with a medical group would not be able to practice on their own.

The bill’s author, Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), said SB 323 is meant to help ensure access to health care in the face of a looming provider shortage as millions more people get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The need will be especially acute in rural and inner city areas, he added.