Full practice authority: Illinois nurses empowered by new law

Illinois LicenseThis was a good week for Illinois nurses, especially those who licensed as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 313 into law on September 20, increasing the authority of registered and licensed Illinois nurses by lifting certain licensing regulations for the administration of some healthcare services. Upon satisfying certain qualifying criteria, an APRN may be eligible for full practice authority. In a healthcare industry already struggling with a shortage of qualified nursing professionals, this update to Illinois law will not only benefit practicing nurses but also the residents of the State of Illinois seeking efficient and effective healthcare services.

From Governor Rauner’s Press Release:

“This will empower nurses to administer the services that they are fully equipped and educated to perform,” said Gov. Rauner. “I’m happy that Illinoisans across the state will be able to rely more on highly qualified and skilled nurses to deliver care when access to a physician may be inhibited due to costs or geographic barriers.[i]

Requirements for APRNs to qualify for full practice authority:

House Bill 313 amends the Illinois Nurse Practice Act with the addition of certain practice definitions and guidelines for certain nurses in a path to full practice authority, making better use of the education and hours of experience held by nurse professionals in their advancing career paths.

The new law allows an APRN certified as a nurse midwife, a clinical nurse specialist, or a nurse practitioner with a minimum of “250 hours of continuing education or training and at least 4,000 hours of clinical experience” to file a notarized attestation of same with the Department to be conferred with the benefit of full practice authority[ii].

Full practice authority is defined by the Nurse Practice Act as follows: “The authority of an advanced practice registered nurse licensed in Illinois and certified as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or nurse midwife to practice without a written collaborative agreement and be fully accountable: (1) to patients for the quality of advanced nursing care rendered, (2) for recognizing limits of knowledge and experience, and (3) for planning for the management of situations beyond the advanced practice registered nurse’s expertise.[iii]

Licensed Illinois nurses should contact the health law and licensing firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates with questions and for assistance with the new changes in the law.

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About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law, litigation and licensing firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

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[i] Illinois.gov, Press Release: Gov. Rauner expands registered nurse practice authority, Sept. 20, 2017.

[ii] Illinois Nurse Practice Act, 225 ILCS 65/65-43 (b).

[iii] Illinois Nurse Practice Act, 225 ILCS 65/65-43 (a).