A recent letter ... presented facts on the issue of prescriptive authority from the standpoint of a physician. ... I would like an opportunity to present some additional facts ... important to health care consumers:
FACT: There are more than 80,000 Registered Nurses in Georgia; less than three percent of these RN's are Advanced Practice Nurses.
FACT: Twenty-five years and more than 200 studies reveal that Advanced Practice Nurses deliver quality, safe and competent care within their specialty.
FACT: Nurses must meet stringent educational requirements in order to meet the criteria for advanced practice as determined by the Georgia Board of Nursing.
FACT: Studies performed in states where Advanced Practice Nurses have prescriptive authority find no difference in the prescriptive patterns between APN's and MD's.
FACT: No verifiable increases in liability have occurred in those states that allow prescriptive authority.
This is not an issue of nurses trying to be doctors or practice medicine -- this is an issue of nurses wanting to be allowed to practice nursing, without restriction, in ways that will allow the safest, highest quality health care for all citizens of Georgia.
Chris Samuelson, MSN,RN, Augusta
(Editor's note: The writer is president of the Georgia Nurses Association.)