Kansas Law Strengthens Patient Access to Health Care

AANP celebrates Kansas as 26th state to empower patients with direct access to nurse practitioners

AUSTIN, Texas, April 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — With a stroke of the governor’s pen, access to high-quality health care just improved for patients in Kansas. Today, Gov. Laura Kelly signed House Bill 2279 into law. This bipartisan victory makes Kansas the second state in 2022 and the 26th state in the nation, along with the District of Columbia and two U.S. territories, to adopt Full Practice Authority (FPA). The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) commends Gov. Kelly and the Kansas Legislature for empowering patients with direct access to comprehensive care from nurse practitioners (NPs) and other advanced practice registered nurses.

We celebrate as Kansas becomes the 26th state to grant patients full and direct access to nurse practitioners’ care.

“This is a major milestone in health care for Kansas and for our nation,” said April N. Kapu, DNP, APRN, ACNP- BC, FAANP, FCCM, FAAN, president of AANP. “We celebrate as Kansas becomes the 26th state to grant patients full and direct access to nurse practitioners’ care. The majority of states have now adopted this legislative model, known as Full Practice Authority. We thank Gov. Kelly and the legislature for prioritizing patients and taking action to improve health care in the Sunflower State.”

FPA is the authorization of NPs to evaluate patients, diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and initiate and manage treatments under the exclusive licensure authority of the state board of nursing. This regulatory framework eliminates outdated requirements for NPs to hold a state-mandated contract with a physician as a condition of state licensure and to provide patient care.

“This law is a necessary step toward eliminating health care disparities, managing costs and building the health care workforce for Kansas,” said Jon Fanning, chief executive officer of AANP. “States that have adopted Full Practice Authority are better positioned to address these critical issues. Today, patients in most states have full and direct access to NPs and these benefits. We call on the remaining states to follow suit and modernize their licensure laws to ensure patients have full and direct access to high-quality, nurse practitioner-delivered care.”

NPs deliver high-quality health care in more than 1 billion patient visits each year. Currently, there are more than 355,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. providing care in communities of all sizes. Recently, U.S. News and World Report ranked the NP role first on its 2022 Best Health Care Jobs list.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of the more than 355,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NPs’ patients and other health care consumers. To locate an NP in your community, visit npfinder.com. For more information about NPs, visit aanp.org.

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SOURCE American Association of Nurse Practitioners

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