Oklahoma Senate Approves Bill Allowing Nurse Practitioners to Prescribe Independently


Nurse practitioners in Oklahoma may soon be permitted to dispense medications without a doctor’s supervision. The proposal passed with a split Senate vote after spending the previous year working its way through the state Capitol. The author of Senate Bill 458 says she wants to improve access to health care.

“This is a way to move Oklahoma forward,” said state Senator Brenda Stanley, a Republican from Midwest City.

Stanley defended her plan, which permits nurse practitioners to administer medications without doctor supervision if they have a particular level of competence. Darrell Weaver, a fellow Republican, is concerned that nurse practitioners lack the necessary education to prescribe unsupervised.

“This body cannot, through legislation, do what is done by education,” Weaver went on to say.

“No. They do not have the same education as doctors. They aren’t saying they do. “They want to practice within their scope,” Stanley explained.

State Sen. Jessica Garvin, who also opposed the bill, contended that it irresponsibly increases the scope of their duties.

“Even though it’s being said, ‘That’s not what we’re doing here,’ that is what we’re doing here,” Garvin told reporters. Supporters, who won by a vote of 33-13, stated that the bill’s principal goal is to improve access to health care in parts of Oklahoma that lack physicians.

“They aren’t applying. “They’re not moving to rural Oklahoma, but we don’t have nurse practitioners,” state Sen. Casey Murdock explained. “This bill could save the medical field in rural Oklahoma.”

Senate Bill 458 now travels to the governor’s desk for signature.

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