Governor Signs SB 1524

Members Bolster Efforts to Remove Six-Month Delay for NPs to Provide Medication

Gov. Jerry Brown today announced his signature on Senate Bill 1524, one of the cornerstones of CANP’s 2012 legislative advocacy efforts.  The measure removes the six-month delay for newly-licensed nurse practitioners to provide medication to their patients, and will take effect January 1, 2013.

“For nurse practitioners throughout California – and NPs elsewhere looking to practice here – this removes a major barrier to providing care to the full extent of their capabilities and qualifications,” said CANP President Beth Haney, DNP.  “We appreciate the governor’s acknowledgement of the growing role NPs play in delivering quality care.”

Current law requires that NPs have six months of supervised experience before they are able to furnish medications to their patients. This antiquated requirement has become a barrier preventing access to care, as it delays NPs from entry into California’s health care workforce. Additionally, since it also applies to out-of-state NPs moving to California – no matter how long they’ve been in practice – this requirement has made it difficult for experienced NPs to come into California and begin working.

Authored by Sen. Ed Hernandez, (D-West Covina), Chair of the Senate Health Committee, and sponsored by CANP, the measure passed both houses of the legislature by overwhelming margins during the closing days of the 2012 State Legislative Session.  CANP members were instrumental in moving the bill through the legislative process. Nearly 200 members participated in an online advocacy campaign urging members of the Assembly and Senate to vote for the measure.  The bill subsequently passed the Assembly 71-5, and cleared the Senate by a 36-0 vote.  A followup campaign urging the governor to sign the bill generated more than 400 messages from CANP members.

“We’re thankful to Senator Hernandez for his efforts on this important matter.  He sees the coming changes in health care, and we appreciate his recognition that NPs will play an important part in the implementation of federal reform,” said Haney.  “And we couldn’t be more proud that CANP members really stepped up in support of this important issue.”

These efforts support CANP’s core mission to help thousands of nurse practitioners speak as one, providing a collective voice in the State Capitol. As the only association in California solely dedicated to protecting NPs’ practice, CANP champions legislative action that expands the development and continuance of the role of the nurse practitioner.