Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Gov. Beshear Signs Bill to Improve Patient Care by Expanding Nurse Practitioners’ Prescribing Authority

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, February 26, 2014  
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Terry Sebastian

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear today ceremonially signed into law Senate Bill 7 (SB7), which will expand the prescribing authority of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN). The bill creates a Collaborative Prescribing Agreement Joint Advisory Committee that will oversee a program to allow APRNs to collaborate with practicing physicians to prescribe non-scheduled legend drugs.

In addition, the bill allows APRNs who have been prescribing for four years with a collaborative agreement under the supervision of a physician to begin to prescribe routine medications independently. The bill also allows APRNs who have been prescribing routine medications in another state for at least four years, either independently or pursuant to a collaborative agreement, to be eligible for independent prescribing in Kentucky.

“As more people gain access to health care as a result of the Affordable Care Act, this bill is a step in the right direction to begin addressing the current and projected shortfall of primary care physicians in Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “The bill also aligns Kentucky with other states that have demonstrated the provider capacity and quality of care benefit from expanding the scope of APRNs.”

Gov. Beshear was joined at the ceremony by Sen. Paul Hornback, of Shelbyville, primary sponsor of the bill, and Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, a registered nurse who has rallied support behind this bill for several years.

“I appreciate the way this bill was handled in the legislative process – the compromise was negotiated until all interested parties were comfortable,” said Sen. Hornback. “This will directly benefit the citizens of Kentucky and I am pleased with the Governor’s willingness to celebrate SB7’s passage.”

“This is a much-needed and great step forward for enhanced access to quality healthcare for the people of Kentucky,” said Rep. Marzian, of Louisville.

SB 7 is the result of a collaborative effort between physician and nurse provider organizations to create a model that will help meet the health care needs of Kentuckians as health care reform is implemented.

The bill will expand access to health care for Kentuckians by improving access to high-quality primary care and medications, such as antibiotics, anti-hypertension, cholesterol, insulin and diabetes medicines.

In addition, the bill aligns with recommendations of multiple national health policy organizations supporting integrating APRNs as fully as possible into the health care delivery system in order to meet the anticipated demand for primary care services.