Nurse Practitioners in Florida currently cannot write prescriptions for controlled substances (47 states currently allow NPs to prescribe these). One can understand the fear that having more prescribers can potentially lead to more abuse. However, that is a very narrow view and really doesn't help the thousands of patients NPs are seeing every day in Florida.
What I find most disturbing about this article is (R) Senator Thad Altman's comments. He is quoted as saying:
"We need to protect the practice of medicine," Altman said. By sharing tasks that used to be solely the domain of doctors, who have the highest level of training among health care professionals, "it's discouraging people from going through the vigor of becoming a physician."
Why must this be a MD vs. NP issue!?!
After all, we now consider "pain" as the fifth vital sign. For us to not adequately address pain, severely inhibits practice and our patients are the one's suffering here. Perhaps Senator Altman, a contractor, needs some evidenced-based information about NP practice. Here is the link to Senator Altman's website. I encourage you (especially Florida NPs in his district) to write to him, have your patients write to him and set the record straight.