Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a bill Monday that will allow Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to practice independent of doctors.
Currently, APRNs are required to work in collaboration with a physician. But when a provision of the new law takes effect on July 1, nurses who meet qualifications will be able to work on their own.
Malloy was expected to sign the bill and applauded its passage in the legislature. He said the change will help Connecticut’s health care system address the demand from newly insured residents. He said access to primary care has been a challenge in some communities.
“With the healthcare industry growing and changing, the role of advanced practice registered nurses remains critical. This bill increases access to primary care across Connecticut by allowing advanced practice registered nurses to do more of what they do so well — evaluating, screening, physical examinations and management of many routine medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and asthma,” Malloy said in a statement.
The bill was opposed by doctors. Following the bill’s passage, the Connecticut State Medical Society released a statement expressing “extreme disappointment” in the vote.
“It is difficult to see how this change will improve patient care, and it does nothing to address the need for healthcare transparency in Connecticut,” Dr. Michael Saffir, the group’s president, said.
There are about 4,000 APRNs in the state of Connecticut, according to state officials.
To date, Malloy has signed 13 bills.