Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed Senate Bill 36 into law, adopting Full Practice Authority (FPA) to nurse practitioners (NPs) for their care. The Beehive state becomes the 27th state, along with the District of Columbia and 2 US territories, to adopt FPA, which the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) has lobbied to enact.
“We applaud Utah for recognizing the need to update laws and make the most of their health care workforce,” said AANP President April Kapu, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, FAANP, FCCM, FAAN. “In the last 2 and a half years, 4 other states have taken similar action [Delaware, Massachusetts, Kansas, and New York]. These changes will help Utah attract and retain nurse practitioners, and provide patients access to high-quality care.”
The signing of the bill follows a strong bipartisan effort to modernize outdated licensure laws for multiple professions including NPs, according to a statement from the AANP. “This regulatory framework eliminates outdated requirements for NPs to hold a state-mandated contract with a physician as a condition of state licensure and the provision of patient care.”
“Modernizing licensure laws is a no-cost, no-delay solution to strengthening the health of the nation,” said Jon Fanning, MS, CAE, CNED, chief executive officer of AANP. “Decades of research show that states with Full Practice Authority are better positioned to improve access to care, grow their workforce and address health care disparities, while delivering quality health outcomes for patients. We look forward to more states following suit.”
Currently, more than 355,000 licensed NPs are practicing in the US, providing health care through more than 1 billion patient visits each year in communities of all sizes, noted AANP.
Utah’s new law will improve patients’ health care access. News release. Association of Nurse Practitioners. March 16, 2023. Accessed March 17, 2023. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/utahs-new-law-will-improve-patients-health-care-access-301774618.html