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Florida Panhandle Nurse Practitioner Coalition

Article on ARNPs battle with FMA

Posted almost 9 years ago by Stanley F Whittaker

ARPNs want power to prescribe

Florida Medical Association remains opposed to the measure


By Jim Ash • DEMOCRAT Capital Bureau Chief • March 26, 2010

Seizing the moment after the passage of President Barack Obama's $1 trillion health reforms, Florida's advanced registered nurse practitioners are hoping to revive an old argument.

Give the state's 13,000 ARPNs the power to write prescriptions for controlled substances, they argue, and expand health care to as many as 1 million more Floridians for free.

"As Americans struggle to find lower health-care costs, Florida lawmakers are ignoring a solution right under their noses," said Florida Nurse Practitioner Network President Christopher Saslo.

The Florida Medical Association has opposed the move for years, and helped keep Florida one of only two states in the nation where ARPNs can't independently write prescriptions for such things as pain pills, codeine-laced cough syrups or common sedatives.

"They do not have the training nor the qualifications necessary to prescribe these medications, and allowing them to do so would jeopardize the safety of Florida patients," said FMA spokeswoman Erin VanSickle. "If ARNPs want to prescribe controlled substances, they can go to medical school and receive the proper training to do so."

Now is not the time, the FMA and other critics say, to expand access to narcotics when prescription drug abuse is on the rise and lawmakers are moving to shut down "pill mills" in South Florida



Brenda NeSmith almost 9 years ago

Erin VanSickle, You are either mis- informed, or intentionally misguiding the law makers with unsubstantial redderick. Pharmacology was a core subject requirement in the NP program I attended at Florida State University in 1989. I have been a member of the health care industry for 25 years. There are requirements by law, that every two years NPs have two hours of continuing education in Pharmocology which includes understanding route, dose, and side effects of controlled substances. Nurses have been required for years to monitor patients on narcotics in hospital settings and report adverse events to physicians, for nurses are the professionalscovering patient care twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year. I have a question for FMA. If NPs can not prescribe these controlled substances then what professional group can we "blame" for the current state of prescription narcotic drug abuse. There will always be individuals in drug traffic. You know, as well as I know with the state of the economy people are selling thier prescriptions drugs to make payments on thier mortgages. So, please don't take one of worst times in America history to grandstand against NPs receiving prescriptive priviledges for controlled substances. Knowledge is knowledge and is not owned by anyone but the person possessing it. NPs don't need to go to medical school to obtain knowledge too prescribe controlled substances we already have the proper training! How is that 48 of 50 other states, within the Uninted States of America recognized that NP schools covered the necessary educational requirements to prescribe controlled substances but Florida and Alabama have held out? Come on Erin VanSickle this is the 2010. Stop making sweetheart deals for a minority of physicians who are doing nothing for the greater good of health care coverage of American's at large.

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