(AP) Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has signed a bill allowing most nurse practitioners to gain the autonomy to practice without a physician’s oversight.
Northam’s spokesman said April 5 the governor had signed the measure sponsored by Republican Del. Roxann Robinson.
A statement from the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners called it a “spectacular moment.”
The bill allows most types of nurse practitioners with five years of full-time clinical experience to earn approval to practice without maintaining a contract with a supervising physician.
The bill’s supporters said the contracts were a burden and doing away with them could expand access to care.
The measure drew opposition from physicians, who raised patient safety and quality-of-care concerns.
More than half the state’s affected nurse practitioners have already met the five-year experience requirement.