RNs Allowed to Dispense Birth Control Without Order

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    Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill in Los Angeles Saturday that will allow women to obtain birth control without having to see a doctor.

    "Instead of shrinking back and trying to take away women's healthcare services and birth control, we're empowering them," Brown said to a crowd at Planned Parenthood's L.A. headquarters.

    AB 2348
    , authored by Democratic state Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles, allows registered nurses to dispense and administer birth control according to a standard procedure outlined by a doctor. That's in contrast to requiring the doctor to sign off on each prescription.

    The bill passed without any Republican support. Republican lawmakers argued only doctors have the medical expertise to provide hormonal contraceptives and they questioned the standard of care nurses could provide.

    The bill, which takes effect Jan. 1, would also require women to see a doctor for an exam after at least three years, Mitchell said.

    "In many countries contraceptives are available over the counter, but not in the U.S.," Mitchell said.

    Supporters lauded the bill as "pioneering" during a time when women's rights are under attack. Brown said California is leading the way.

    "Today we're realizing the dream that women have the right to control their own destiny, not some guys in the Legislature who think they know better," Brown said.

    Mitchell said the bill allows women in rural areas with a shortage of doctors, nurse practitioners or physicians assistants — all of whom can provide contraceptives — the ability to obtain birth control from more prevalent registered nurses.

    "It doesn’t do any good to have a card that says health insurance if there’s no one to give healthcare," said Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California President and CEO Kathy Kneer. "By using RNs to the full ability of their training...we’re freeing up space for women who have higher risk conditions to see a nurse practitioner or physician."

    Later on Saturday, the governor signed Senate Bill 623, which extends for two years a study program that allows nurse practitioners and physician assistants to perform first-trimester
    abortions.

    This story has been updated.
    Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).
    CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story mistakenly said Assemblywoman Norma Torres had authored a bill allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to perform first-trimester abortions. Senate Bill 623 was actually introduced by Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego).

    http://www.scpr.org/blogs/news/2012/09/22/10111/governor-signs-bill-allowing-women-obtain-birth-co/
    Last edit by Joe V on Oct 4, '12
    wooh, Joe V, and flyingchange like this.

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  2. 12 Comments...

  3. 0
    I heard just today that school nurses will be able to despense birth control in schools, I am not sure if its just high school or will extend to the jr highs as well.
  4. 3
    At least some people are beginning to think rationally.
    wooh, kattycakes, and jadelpn like this.
  5. 0
    Quote from malamud69
    At least some people are beginning to think rationally.
    I honestly do not see this as a good thing for the profession. We have nurse practitioners and nurse midwives for a reason. I believe that prescription medications should be prescribed by those licensed to do so.

    Although, I do think that some birth control should be over-the-counter.
  6. 1
    Quote from Asystole RN
    I honestly do not see this as a good thing for the profession. We have nurse practitioners and nurse midwives for a reason. I believe that prescription medications should be prescribed by those licensed to do so.
    I tend to agree with you. This has nothing to do with any views on contraceptives. I just think about the number of ads for lawyers who want to sue pharmaceutical companies who make these drugs and providers who prescribe them. For example, from a legal ad: "if you ever suffered blood clots or a stroke after taking the birth control pill XYZ you may have a case!" For one, I don't want to the the one against whom they have a case. Also, if there are such potential side effects from the medication, I think a relationship with a provider and a full assessment needs to be done first.
    RunnerRN2b2014 likes this.
  7. 3
    There will be standing orders. It says that a woman doesn't have to see a doctor, not that RN's will be dispensing without a standard protocol. And that a patient has to see a doctor after 3 years to have the prescription continue. Which is about the standard of health insurance covering paps.

    There's standing orders for a number of things in a number of settings. This is no different. In MD offices, RN's call refills to prescriptions all the time without the MD necessarily needing to see the patient.

    And I am sure that patients aren't gonna pick these orders up off the street--they would need to come in for an initial eval to see if they fit within the protocol or not.

    Planned parenthood agencies are often run by RN's. The protocols/orders are set by MD's or NP's but it is the RN who carries out the protocols and orders within a certain set of criteria.

    It is one step in the right direction of women being able to make informed health care decisions that are right for them and their circumstances. Some of the Republican right are the first to block/impede this type of access, but then make ridiculous comments about families "living off the government".
    wooh, kattycakes, and malamud69 like this.
  8. 1
    this is amazing! what great news for women in california, and an overdue increase in scope for RNs that should have happened a LONG time ago!
    Sehille4774 likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from jadelpn
    Some of the Republican right are the first to block/impede this type of access, but then make ridiculous comments about families "living off the government".
    A lot of families DO live off government. Handing out birth control like candy isn't going to stop that.
  10. 0
    I was in my early 20's, just married and making $12/hr, I was able to get a birth control script from planned parenthood without needing an exam - i think they charged $20. For this I am grateful. I didn't have the money for a PAP ( I had insurance that had a 1k deductible so I would have had to pay about $150 for the exam and I didn't have the money. i was in a monogamous relationship and I feel my risk for cervical cancer was quite low. Maybe that was a risk but one i felt comfortable with taking. Republicans also dont like abortion and this type of service is a good way to prevent it.
  11. 0
    Quote from malamud69
    At least some people are beginning to think rationally.
    Rational?!?!? You are telling me that I can now prescribe medication? I don't think so. If there is a prior prescription, then yes, refills I think are ok. However, I have a girlfriend who nearly died due to complications from BC, developed several pulmonary embolisms. The fix? A simple blood test. While she is sueing to force the blood tests (she isn't asking for money in her law suit) idiot Brown is handing out rights to us nurses that aren't in our scope of practice. He's an idiot.


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