On Wednesday, Delaware joined 23 other states and the District of Columbia to adopt full practice authority for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). This legislation allows APRNs and nurse practitioners to practice independent of a physician under the authority of the Delaware Board of Nursing. This legislation "removes the requirement for a collaborative agreement for licensure purposes although employers and health care organizations may still require one," and ensures Delaware's APRN regulations, "are consistent with national standards."
House Bill 141 passed with overwhelming support in the Delaware legislature: 20 votes in support to 1 opposed in the Senate, 38 supporting to 3 opposed in the House. The bill was signed into law by Governor Jay Carney on Wednesday, August 4, 2021.
Delaware is the second state this year to adopt full practice authority legislation, following Massachusetts earlier this year. Forbes noted that across the U.S., "state lawmakers and health policy makers are finding nurse practitioners needed to increase access to primary care and vaccinations amid a shortage of doctors and other healthcare workers, particularly during the pandemic and surges of Covid-19 cases."
Twenty-six states continue to uphold unnecessary barriers to high quality, nurse-led care. Please visit our advocacy page for more information on the fight for full practice authority in legislatures across the country.