A historic law has been passed in Illinois allowing Advanced Practice Nurses, such as Nurse Practitioners, to diagnose, prescribe medications, and treat patients without the oversight of a physician. This remarkable law comes at a time when healthcare costs are soaring. The new privileges require nurses to have racked up over 4,000 hours of working with a physician at a hospital and 250 hours of continuing education.
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While the majority of people are excited about this progression of nursing expertise and authority, there are some, namely physicians like Dr. April Kennedy, who remain skeptical of the bill. She states,“When you try to substitute training, when you try to have someone perform a function that they really aren’t trained to do, to me it just opens up room for errors, and medical errors can be critical, they can be life-threatening.”

The research says otherwise. Ricki Loar, President of the Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing, states, “With advanced practice nurses in general, the quality of care and the control of for instance, chronic disease, is as good or better than it is with a physician and that’s documented in multiple studies.”

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