Senate Bill 360 was sponsored by state Sen. Carol Ronen,
D-Chicago, and state Rep. Angelo "Skip" Saviano, R-River Grove.
"Nurses are the backbone of the health care system. This law
moves us toward a better appreciation of the work Illinois nurses do
to protect and care for the people of our state," said Blagojevich.
"Working with health care professionals across the state, we have
modernized and streamlined this law, giving men and women who are
considering careers in nursing a better understanding of what is
expected of them and what they can expect of their careers."
The historic rewrite of the Nurse Practice Act streamlines the
law into three distinct sections targeted to the three categories of
licensed nurses. Each section outlines licensure requirements,
education requirements and a specific scope of practice for each
category. Further, the law includes a whistle-blower clause that
prohibits retaliation against a licensed nurse who reports unsafe,
unethical or illegal health care practices or conditions.
"Nurses are a
distinct and independent part of the health care network. The
changes in this act reflect the critical nature of nurses' work and
clarify the expanding opportunities and responsibilities of licensed
nurses," said Ronen, Senate sponsor of the legislation.
"Nurses work tirelessly to ensure the
comfort and well-being of the people they care for," said Saviano,
House sponsor of the legislation. "By clarifying their
responsibilities, we are making it easier for them to continue doing
their jobs and treating their patients."
The act changes the statutory relationship between physicians and
nurses, recognizing the ongoing changes in the treatment of patients
and where patients are treated. The act expands the scope of
practice for advanced practice nurses working at hospitals and
ambulatory surgical treatment centers, allowing them to practice
through the use of privileging and credentialing without the need
for a written collaborative agreement with a licensed physician. The
law also expands the types and dosages of drugs that an advanced
practice nurse may prescribe, so long as there is a collaborative
agreement or the treatment is at a hospital or ambulatory surgical
treatment center. Finally, the act creates a new procedure for
future expansions and changes to the credentialing of advanced
practice nurses and requires the collaboration of the Medical
Licensing Board for further practice expansions.
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"APNs have advanced in the past 10 years, and this act reflects
the changes in our profession," said Bridget A. Cahill, Ph.D.
candidate, ANP, CNP. "The two major changes in the Nurse Practice
Act are the elimination of the collaborative agreement for APNs in a
hospital or ambulatory care center and the ability to prescribe some
additional medications. We took a step in the right direction and
hope this leads to bigger and better steps in the future." Cahill is
government relations chairwoman for the Illinois Society of Advanced
Practice Nursing and a member of the advisory board for the Illinois
Center for Nursing.
"We would like to thank Governor Blagojevich for his action
today," said Pam Robbins, RN, second vice president of the Illinois
Nurses Association. "The signing of this act represents two years of
work by the nursing community. The central goal was to provide for
patient protection through nursing regulation. We are proud this
goal was accomplished, and the scope of nursing practice was
improved at all levels."
Work on this act was initiated in 2006 and focused on
streamlining the act and making clear what is expected of all health
care providers. The work was accomplished by combining the efforts
of the Illinois State Medical Society, Illinois Hospital
Association, Illinois Nurses Association, Illinois Society of
Advanced Practice Nursing, Illinois Association of Nurse
Anesthetists and a committee of 155 nurses representing LPNs, RNs
and APNs. The stakeholders' first priority was patient safety and
protecting the public. The protection of nursing practice and
organizational priorities were also considered.
Senate Bill 360 becomes effective immediately.
[Text from file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]