The national movement to grant nurse practitioners (NPs) greater autonomy reached critical mass this week when California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that will allow NPs to practice on their own after a minimum of 3 years working under a physician’s supervision. Under current state law, NPs must always be supervised by a doctor.
The new law, enacted despite strong opposition from the California Medical Association (CMA), is scheduled to take effect January 1, 2023.
California joins 22 other states that allow NPs to practice independently, according to the California Association for Nurse Practitioners (CANP). Depending on how NP autonomy is defined, the number of states might be as high as 30, Joanne Spetz, PhD, a health economics professor at the University of California San Francisco, told Medscape Medical News.
About a dozen of those states passed their laws within the past decade, Spetz noted, and California is