The Free Press, Mankato, MN

May 8, 2014

House untethers doctors, nurses

The Mankato Free Press

---- — ST. PAUL — The House passed a bill Thursday that allows most advanced practice nurses to work without an agreement with a doctor.

The bill, a companion to Mankato Sen. Kathy Sheran’s Senate measure, passed after about 2 1/2 hours of debate and six failed amendments to weaken the bill.

The change has been long sought by the nurses and opposed by doctors, though an April 30 agreement between the two parties smoothed the way for the bill, which passed 119-13. The Senate version passed unanimously May 1.

The change allows most of the state’s 6,000 or so advanced practice nurses to work without a collaborative agreement with a doctor. Advocates say it will spur these nurses to open private practices in outstate Minnesota.

Because the House passed the Senate version of the bill, it can go straight to the governor.