Coalition forms to ‘combat misinformation’ on independent practice for nurses

The coalition is made up of 50 state medical professional societies.

More than 50 county medical and specialty societies are joining forces to push back against the “false and vitriolic narrative” surrounding a bill that would allow nurses and physician assistants to practice independently of physicians.

The Florida Patient Protection Coalition (FPPC) plans to make the argument against the independent practice bill, HB 607, by educating the public on the benefits of physician-led, team-based care.

“The Florida Patient Protection Coalition seeks to counter the propaganda being disseminated by the nursing and physician assistant groups pushing for independent practice legislation,” said FMA President Ronald F. Giffler.

“The Florida Medical Association believes that independent practice and team-based care take health care delivery in two very different directions. Independent practice further compartmentalizes and fragments health care delivery, while team-based care fosters greater integration and coordination.”

FPPC highlighted the differences in education and training between physicians, nurses and physician assistants.

A physician must complete four years of medical school followed by three or more years of graduate medical education, which includes at least 15,000 clinical training hours.

In contrast, advanced nursing degree programs recommend 500 post-baccalaureate hours (about 12 weeks) of clinical training for Master of Science in Nursing degrees and 1,000 post-baccalaureate hours of clinical training for Doctorate of Nursing Practice degrees.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) are not required to complete any training beyond graduate school, whereas Medical Doctors complete three to seven years of residency training in a select surgical or medical specialty under experienced physician faculty supervision.

FPPC also pointed to survey data from the American Medical Association that shows 91% of people believe a physician’s years of education and training are vital to optimal patient care, especially in the event of a complication or medical emergency.

AMA also found 84% preferred of respondents want a physician to take the lead in diagnosing and managing their health care.

“As a member of the Florida Patient Protection Coalition, it is critical we push back on special interest groups who seek to compromise the quality of health care by allowing Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and Physician Assistants to practice beyond the scope of their education and training,” said Christie Alexander, a medical doctor and President of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

“This coalition believes patients’ best interests are optimally served when they are treated in a physician-led, team-based model of care.”

Drew Wilson, Florida Politics
February 6, 2020