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PA Governor Signs Law Allowing Nurse Practitioners to Order Home Health Services

On Friday, July 20, 2007, Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania signed into law a bill allowing Nurse Practitioners to sign certain orders that previously were limited to physicians.

Nurse Practitioners in Pennsylvania are now permitted to perform some duties only doctors had been allowed to do, such as ordering medical equipment, home health and hospice care; making therapy and dietitian referrals; and issuing homebound schooling certifications. The expanded responsibilities apply only to registered nurses with specialized training and advanced degrees.

Tine Hansen-Turton, head of the Philadelphia-based National Nursing Centers Consortium, said “Nurse practitioners are the cure for an ailing U.S. health system faced with a growing number of patients and a looming shortage of general doctors, especially ones willing to treat poor patients.”

What do you think? How will the growth of Nurse Practitioners affect the future of home care? Post your comments below.

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