With the passage of a new law, advanced practice nurses who have completed the necessary training will have greater authority in administering health services. State Sen. Omar Aquino, D-Chicago, voted to approve the legislation in the Licensed Activities Committee and sponsored it in the Senate.

“The new law will allow licensed, experienced medical professionals greater authority and accountability while also lowering healthcare costs and improving access to treatment,” Aquino said. “This law will especially help disadvantaged communities, where people often cannot see a physician due to cost or location. This will fix that problem by expanding the pool of medical professionals who can adequately deliver crucial services.”

Advanced practice nurses (APNs) belong to a classification that can include midwives, certified nurse practitioners, certified registered nurses, anesthetists and certified clinical nurse specialists. The new law gives them full practice authority, allowing them to write prescriptions and take full accountability for a patient’s health.

An APN interested in gaining full practice authority must complete at least 250 hours of continuing education or training and 4,000 hours of clinical experience on top of training for certification.

The law, House Bill 313, goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.