Delaware Becomes the Latest Full Practice Authority State

Aug 05, 2021 | Full Practice Authority |

Full Practice Authority, A Public Policy Blog by the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium

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."

"I applaud the state of Delaware for passing full practice authority legislation. This legislation expands access to healthcare and lowers cost without sacrificing quality. Full practice authority is health reform supported by governors and legislators of both parties: because it works."
Sarah Hexem Hubbard, Executive Director of the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium

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.



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About The Author

Justin Gero, MS was the Senior Manager of Public Affairs at the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium. He  was with the organization from 2016-2021.

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