The Florida Nurses Association applauded lawmakers Friday for passing a bill allowing advanced registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe controlled substances, a measure the group had put before the legislature for 22 years.
“It’s been a long battle, and well worth the fight,’’ said FNA Executive Director Willa Fuller in a news release. “The passage of this bill is a huge victory for nurses and patients.”
Sponsored by Sebring Republican Rep. Cary Pigman, a physician, and Miami Shores Democratic Rep. Daphne Campbell, a nurse, HB 423 would make Florida the final state in the union to allow ARNPs to prescribe controlled drugs, such as painkillers or ADHD medicine.
“The FNA has advocated for this prescribing legislation since 1993, when the organization convened a task force of advanced practice nurses and midwives,” the release states. “The first controlled substance prescribing bill was filed by state lawmakers in 1995. The legislation has been filed in 21 of the past 22 years the Florida Legislature has met. This year, lawmakers named the legislation after former FNA lobbyist Barbara Lumpkin.”
The Senate passed the bill Friday with a unanimous vote, kicking it back to the House with a pair of minor amendments by Republican Sen. Denise Grimsley, who is also a nurse. The chamber passed the bill 117-to-1, with Tampa Democratic Rep. Janet Cruz casting the lone vote against the bill.
HB 423 now heads to Gov. Rick Scott.