Senate Bill 323 (Hernandez-Eggman), which would permit California nurse practitioners to practice to the full extent of their education, experience and expertise, gained a prominent new backer yesterday when the Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU) California announced its support for the measure.
“SB 323 is an important step to maintain California’s leadership in expanding health care access for underserved communities,” said Bob Schoonover, President of SEIU Local 721, which represents hundreds of nurse practitioners in Southern California. “California has led the nation in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The good news about that is that we have brought millions more Californians into coverage, but at the same time, we need to address this state’s severe health care provider shortage through practical steps like SB 323.”
SEIU California represents more than 700,000 members working primarily in health care, long-term care, public services (both state workers and local), and building services. That includes more than 300,000 nurses, LVNs, professional hospital employees, doctors, lab technicians, home care and nursing home workers, and other support staff in the health care industry.
“I am most grateful to my NP colleagues at SEIU who reached out to CANP earlier to discuss this issue, enabling us to bridge these conversations and help their leadership to make a fully-informed decision. It really is all about cultivating those relationships,” said CANP President Donna Emanuele. “With hundreds of thousands of SEIU's members working in so many different aspects of the health care field, their support further illuminates the fact that SB 323 is not simply a nurse practitioner issue, but is vital to California’s ability to meet the growing demands for quality health care.”
SB 323 remains in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee, where it is eligible to be heard by July 1. CANP continues to engage with lawmakers in an effort to procure support from committee members in order to resume the bill’s progress through the legislative process.