Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ohio House Passes Legislation to Give APNs Additional Authority to Prescribe Medications

COLUMBUS—Chairman of the House Health and Aging Committee Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon) has announced that the Ohio House today passed legislation to increase the ability of advanced practice nurses (APNs) to prescribe schedule II medications in certain settings while ensuring patient protection.

Currently, APNs have the authority to prescribe medications for terminally ill patients for a 24-hour supply only after the collaborating physician has initially prescribed the drug. Senate Bill 83 removes these limitations for APNs and allows them to prescribe in certain locations, including hospitals, health care facilities operated by the Department of Mental Health or the Department of Developmental Disabilities, or a nursing home. It also grants the Board of Nursing the authority to discipline nurses who self-administer schedule I controlled substances.

“Advanced practice nurses go through years of education and clinical training, and they are qualified to safely prescribe medications that will provide quick pain management for patients,” Rep. Wachtmann said.

Within the state of Ohio, APNs undergo extensive training in pharmacology to prepare them to be responsible prescribers of schedule II medications. APNs have been prescribing schedule II medications under certain conditions since 2002.

Senate Bill 83 will now be sent back to the Senate for concurrence.