PA House Bill 1603 "Administration of Anesthesia" adds Supervision - Nov. 18th vote


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Anesthesia Care Compromised

November 12, 2013

The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, representing more than 212,000 registered nurses in Pennsylvania, opposes House Bill 1603, "Administration of Anesthesia." HB 1603 passed out of the House Professional Licensure Committee on November 12, 2013. To date, this legislation has not had a public hearing to address concerns related to patient access to high-quality care delivered by certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), one of the four categories of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).

Currently, HB 1603 places the term "under supervision" into law. This language is inconsistent with current nurse regulation language and could create a conflict between the laws governing the State Board of Medicine and the State Board of Nursing. At a time when other states are looking for innovative ways to respond to health care reform, Pennsylvania needs to realize and utilize the full economic value of the nursing profession. HB 1603's archaic approach to health care prevents and limits patient access to cost-effective, high-quality care delivered by APRNs.

Current nursing regulation states,

the [CRNA] is authorized to administer anesthesia in cooperation with a surgeon or dentist, not under the supervision of a physician.
Cooperation is defined in nurse regulations as a process by which the CRNA and surgeon work together with each contributing an area of expertise, at their individual and respective levels of education and training. In the Institute of Medicine report, "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health," practitioners and organizational leaders have declared that cooperation and high-functioning inter-collaborative teams are key strategies to achieve innovation in health care.

"PSNA and various members of the State House of Representatives have asked on numerous occasions for a hearing on this issue," states PSNA Chief Executive Officer Betsy M. Snook, MEd, BSN, RN. "To date, this has not occurred. This legislation could have a domino effect on other health care initiatives within the Commonwealth. PSNA asks that a hearing be held on HB 1603 so that legislators can be fully informed prior to this critical vote."

Action Alert from the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association

On Monday, November 18, 2013, HB 1603 "Administration of Anesthesia", will be voted on in the House of Representatives. This legislation did not receive a hearing before the Professional Licensure Committee. This legislation takes the term "under supervision" and places it into law. This language is not consistent with current nurse regulation language.

Contact your legislators to oppose bill: