Maryland Governor Hogan to sign bill on May 12 that grants Maryland Nurse Practitioners Full Practice Authority
In 2005 a small group of nurse practitioners in rural Southern Maryland had a problem and a dream.
The problem was lack of access to healthcare for their neighbors and friends and a scarcity of employment for the nurse practitioners that wished to live and practice in Southern Maryland.
Underlying the issues were a lack of physicians who wanted to practice in rural Maryland and, without physicians, nurse practitioners could not see patients.
So they took a look at what had already been done to improve the scope of practice in the Maryland statute. Maryland had already gone from a supervisory to a collaborative state; nurse practitioners could prescribe; and they could sign various forms that were essential to patient care. But the one thing that was missing was the ability to practice autonomously without the oversight of the Board of Physicians and a signature of a collaborating physician.
And they realized it that it would take decades to update the Maryland Nurse Practice Act line by line. So they changed their purpose from offering affordable and superior continuing education to obtaining full autonomous practice for nurse practitioners in the state of Maryland.
They formed a 501(c) and called themselves the Maryland Coalition of Nurse Practitioners (MCNP) and began to deliberately recruit members and supporters to assist them in realizing their dream.
Now after 10 years, along with the name change, a restructuring of the board, and a massive outreach to the 4600 Maryland nurse practitioners they have finally achieved their dream.
On May 12, 2015 Maryland Governor Hogan will sign into law the Certified Nurse Practitioners - Authority to Practice bill that guarantees all nurse practitioners in the state of Maryland complete autonomous practice.
We join the 21 other states that have independent practice and we are proud to stand with them and be an example to the rest of our colleagues as they struggle to achieve the same dream for full practice authority.
MCNP, now known as the Maryland Academy of Advanced Practice Clinicians (MAAPC), has welcomed all advanced practice nurses, Physician Assistants and other interested professionals to join them in guaranteeing access to quality healthcare for all Maryland citizens. MAAPC continues to provide conferences and CE/CME dinners across the state.
We want to thank our long-term partners for their support and assistance: The Maryland Board of Nursing, the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, AARP and the Future of Nursing Campaign, and the Maryland Rural Health Association. More recently we welcomed the assistance of the Maryland Hospital Association, the Board of Physicians, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, the American College of Nurse Midwives, along with the Maryland Nurses Association.
Congratulations to our newly independent nurse practitioners! And as always we encourage all APRNs and PAs to join MAAPC as we usher in a new paradigm in healthcare across Maryland.