SACRAMENTO–Today the Assembly overwhelmingly passed AB 890 by Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa), which would provide full practice authority to nurse practitioners, and sends the bill to the Senate.
“I appreciate that my fellow colleagues acknowledge the value and importance of expanding the use of well qualified health care providers,” said Wood, who chairs the Assembly Health Committee. “As we commit to expanding coverage to more people – and that’s absolutely what we should be doing – we must address the serious shortage and continued decline of primary care physicians in the state and recognize that nurse practitioners who receive the appropriate education and experience can provide the quality care every Californian deserves.”
Wood has continued to support funding for additional physician residency and loan repayment programs, however, he also recognizes that there is not enough funding to meet the need due to the high cost and limited number of residency slots.
Analyses of peer-reviewed research, as reflected in “Quality of Primary Care by Advanced Practice Nurses: A Systematic Review,” have concluded that nurse practitioners provide care of comparable quality as physicians, even when they practice without physician oversight.
“As I have reviewed these studies and the literature, I have asked opponents of this legislation for any evidence to the contrary and I have received only anecdotal stories unbacked by valid research,” said Wood.
“There are dozens of other states, the District of Columbia and the Veterans Administration, that allow full practice authority to nurse practitioners,” said Wood. “California has always been a policy leader, and why we are lagging behind a majority of states is truly a detriment to our fellow Californians.”