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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Nurse Practitioner Practice Expansion in Pennsylvania

By Tracie Mauriello, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HARRISBURG -- Nurse practitioners soon could play a bigger role in health care in Pennsylvania.

Gov. Ed Rendell wants to revamp healthcare in Pennsylvania, starting with a change in regulations that restrict treatment by nurse practitioners, who charge less than physicians.

Mr. Rendell expects to unveil a plan in January, but he provided a glimpse yesterday during his traditional year-end news conference.

"The test for us is, are we going to have the intestinal fortitude to look down the barrel of special interests and say, 'Uh-uh guys, not this time. Health care is too important of an issue," Mr. Rendell said.

"I want to free nurse practitioners to do anything they are capable of doing," Mr. Rendell said.

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This is very important to Pennsylvania NPs. I'm all for expansion of practice but I still believe that we should continue to collaborate with doctors in order to provide excellent care for our patients. I know that many NPs would like to sever the connection, but I think that it's important to have someone to discuss complicated cases with. Maybe my opinion will change in the future when I have more experience, but I'll have to see.