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Colorado Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses


Posted over 4 years ago by Ann Terrill-Torrez

Nurse Physician Advisory Taskforce for Colorado Healthcare (NPATCH)
NPATCH, mandated by statute, was formed to study and "to promote public safety and improve healthcare in Colorado by supporting collaboration and communication between the practices of nursing and medicine".  NPATCH functions within the Department of Regulatory Affairs (DORA) of Colorado and is tasked with informing public policy and rule-making related to licensure for nursing and medicine in Colorado, and specifically to make recommendations to the Executive Director of DORA on healthcare issues.

Recent work of NPATCH has been to describe barriers to APRN's in Colorado transition to full prescriptive authority and to make recommendations to reduce those barriers.  NPATCH is in the process of finalizing recommendations to be sent to the Executive Director of DORA for their consideration for determining steps for successful legislation in the 2015 session.  CNA, the Government Affairs and Public Policy committee, and our lobbyist, Nolbert Chavez, are actively involved monitoring the recommendation and we are hopeful that once released, we can begin to partner with other stakeholders in assuring a successful bill in 2015 to reduce the current barriers for APRN's in Colorado to achieve full prescriptive authority.  Tentatively, NPATCH has suggested that the final recommendations will be presented to DORA early November.

Current draft recommendations include:  (Not Finalized for DORA as of yet)
1) Upon acceptance into the advanced practice registry, APRN's seeking prescriptive authority should be eligible for provisional prescriptive authority.
2) Requirements should be amended so that in order to transition to full prescriptive authority, within 3 years of achieving the designation as advance practice nurse with provisional prescriptive authority, the advanced practice nurse with provisional prescriptive authority shall complete:
* Either 6 months full time or 1000 practice hours involving active collaboration on a representative sample of typical and complex cases;
* This active collaboration will be with an unrestricted prescriber lawfully practicing in Colorado in a corresponding population either an experienced physician or experienced advance practice nurse with prescriptive authority;
* Collaboration should occur through real-time (synchronous) communication.
3) The Board of Nursing should review and amend, to the extent of its authority, its current waiver process in Chapter 15 of the Board of Nursing Rules toward eliminating barriers and clarifying processes to align with other recommendations made by the NPATCH.
4) DORA should engage professional regulatory boards and other stakeholders to improve education and outreach regarding the requirements for APRN's to obtain prescriptive authority.

NPATCH has worked dilligently for the past 8 - 10 months to assure a collaborative effort to reduce significant barriers for APRN's in Colorado. Again, these are currently in draft form, NPATCH has endorsed them, so we look forward to hearing from DORA and their recommendations for the 2015 legislation.