The NDNPA monitored several bills this legislative session. We want to thank the Center for Nursing for their excellent monitoring and updates.  The two groups worked collaboratively and the reports from the Center for Nursing made it possible to update nurse practitioners with a complete report each week.  These reports were shared on our website weekly.

Tara Brandner, Jenna Herman and Cheryl Rising were three nurse practitioners involved with monitoring legislative meetings, developing weekly reports and completing testimony.  Several of the bills that we testified on were telehealth, syringe exchange program, workforce safety and filing of false claims, guardianship and conservatorship proceedings, child restraints, health care directives, licensure compact and medical marijuana.  With each of these bills and many more we identified areas where advance practice registered nurses (APRN’s) needed to be added to prevent barriers in our practice.

The telehealth bill, we testified to keep store and forward information in the bill and confirmed that APRN’s were maintained in the bill.  APRN’s that work in dermatology had communicated it was important to continue the store and forward information.  This type of technology provides sharper pictures.

We worked closely with the workforce safety (WSI) group and did have APRN’s definition added under medical.  There are areas throughout this section of law that needs updating. NP’s will work with WSI through the interim and try to update language needed for our group.

One other area that was important to the NPs practice was bill number 1095 regarding guardianship and conservatorship proceedings.  The NPs were added under the definition of expert examiner.  This will allow nurse practitioners to complete examinations for a client that is being evaluated for competency.  The judge will now be able to accept our examination.  An MD exam had been the only exam accepted in the past, the NPs had not been included.  This is a huge barrier that is eliminated for NPs working with our geriatric population.

Another area addressed was the medical marijuana.  We elected as a group to monitor and see how this evolved.  As the bill was being developed it was identified that we did need to have APRN’s in this bill.  We testified and were added in.  We will now be able to assess and recommend medical marijuana for a client that we identify may benefit from this treatment.  The medical and nursing profession will not order medical marijuana, but will be able to recommend.

Licensure compact is the last bill I want to address.   House bill 1096 was passed.  The Center for Nursing and Board of Nursing and our organization and others did testify in support of this compact.  It will allow APRN’s to be licensed in ND and then be able to work in other states that are also in the compact.

I thank again the Center for Nursing, Dr. Patricia Moulton and Dr. Kalanek for their tireless hours spent during this legislative session.  It was with their help that allowed us to be successful with so many bills that needed updated APRN language.