For Immediate Release
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Taryn Fort
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303-953-3666

Colorado Health Foundation Statement on Proposed Revisions to the Nurse Practice Act

DENVER, CO – The Colorado Health Foundation today submitted a letter providing input to Barbara Kelley, executive director for the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, on the proposed revisions to the Nurse Practice Act and an overview of its participation in a stakeholder process that helped inform the recommendations of the Nurse-Physician Advisory Taskforce for Colorado Health Care (NPATCH). The recommendations address Colorado’s current system for granting prescriptive authority to Advance Practice Nurses (APRNs), and outline a need to change the current requirements to reduce retention barriers, increase access to care and align Colorado law with other states’ requirements.   

In late 2013, the Colorado Health Foundation helped convene stakeholders including nursing associations, foundations and other health-related organizations to consider developing a plan for changing Colorado’s current prescriptive authority requirements for APRNs. The Partnership gathered independent data outlining unintended consequences of changes made in the prescriptive authority arena in 2010 and also illustrated that Colorado is an outlier in its practice of requiring 3,600 hours of supervision to attain prescriptive authority. Of the states that allow APRNs to prescribe independently, besides Colorado, few require supervisory hours for prescriptive authority. A study conducted by the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence found that 69 percent of Colorado APRN students agree with the following statement: “Due to the prescriptive authority supervision requirement, it is very likely that I will leave the state to practice as an APRN.” The data and recommendations of the Partnership were shared with NPATCH to help inform potential improvements to the Nurse Practice Act.   

“The Foundation has invested resources to help increase the number of health professionals in Colorado and promote the use of team-based care to provide comprehensive preventive and integrated services,” said Rahn Porter, Colorado Health Foundation interim president and CEO. “The Partnership’s research illustrates that changing the 3,600-hour requirement for APRN prescriptive authority in Colorado could give more Coloradans access to a qualified health care provider; help keep Colorado-trained APRNs in the state; and align Colorado law with other states’ requirements. Accordingly, providing APRNs with greater prescriptive authority would represent an important step forward for workforce retention and health care access in the state of Colorado.”  

Read the full letter detailing the Foundation’s participation in the stakeholder process and further details on the recommendations offered by the partnership concerning the proposed revisions to the Nurse Practice Act.

About the Colorado Health Foundation
The Colorado Health Foundation is singularly focused on helping Coloradans live their healthiest lives by advancing opportunities to pursue good health and achieve health equity through grantmaking, policy and advocacy, strategic private investments and convening to drive change. For more information, please visit www.coloradohealth.org.