the pennsylvania house of representatives this week passed two bills sponsored by rep. patricia vance (r-cumberland) that broaden the authority of certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants to perform examinations for state assistance and teaching certificates.
"certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants play a critical role in the delivery of health care to residents of the commonwealth," vance said. "it only makes sense that they should be able to perform these exams and fill out the necessary paperwork."
house bill 1911 allows certified registered nurse practitioners and physicians assistants to verify a person's claim that he or she has a disability that temporarily or permanently prevents him or her from employment or work-related activity. this certification then allows the person to qualify for cash assistance. currently, only physicians or psychologists can perform the disability assessments. house bill 1913 allows certified registered nurse practitioners and physicians assistants who are either licensed or certified in the commonwealth to certify that applicants for teacher certification are neither mentally or physically disqualified from teaching. state law requires a certificate verifying an applicant's health before an applicant may receive his or her teaching certificate. currently, only physicians are allowed to sign the health form.