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Nurses In Spotlight Monday

A Florida House committee will take up a bill Monday that would give nurse practitioners more independence and authority to provide medical services without a supervising physician.

The bill, which could help address the shortage of primary-care physicians, would apply to “advanced registered nurse practitioners,” a classification requiring more training and education than registered nurses, according to the News Service of Florida.

But Sen. Denise Grimsely, R-Sebring, says she is working on a less sweeping proposal.

And the 115-page bill heading to the House Select Committee on Health Care Workforce Innovation has its detractors. The powerful Florida Medical Association lobby has long argued the supervision needs to continue.

But backers point out that many nurse practitioners, including certified registered nurse anesthetists, already provide services without the presence of a physician.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.