Mississippi nursing practice act is a crucial document that outlines and regulates the role and functions of registered nurses in the state of Mississippi. The act provides a framework for the scope of practice of various professionals, including registered nurses (RNs), advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and nurse educators (Mississippi Board of Nursing, 2017). This post will propose a crucial change to one of the regulations as outlined by the act.
I propose to expand the scope of practice of RNs and APRNs in Mississippi by eliminating the requirement for collaborative agreement with licensed physicians and allowing them to prescribe controlled substances and medication. Thus, the proposal concerns § 73-15-20 of the Mississippi nursing practice act, specifically, provisions 3, 7g, and 8 (Mississippi Board of Nursing, 2017). I recommend amending provision 3 to exempt RNs and APRNs with over 3000 hours of practice from entering into a collaborative agreement with a physician within the primary care field. According to Barnes et al. (2018), over a quarter of all practitioners in rural areas are RNs and APRNs, with most physicians concentrated in urban areas. Thus, it is imperative to allow experienced nurses to work independently when appropriate. Furthermore, they should be able to prescribe, order, and administer medication to their patients and order a wider variety of diagnostic tests.
I would rely on current statistics of physicians, RNs, and APRNs working in rural areas to illustrate the necessity for expanding the scope of practice for the latter. As Mississippi is a largely rural state, the disparity between rural and urban areas should be considered. Furthermore, I would address the examples of states where RNs and APRNs have a broader scope of practice compared to Mississippi. Thus, the recently enacted HB 607 Direct Care Workers act grants nurses more responsibilities while outlining additional regulations and guidelines for their practice (Health Policy Committee, 2020). Overall, I believe the proposed changes to the Mississippi nursing practice act will positively affect nurses and the public.
Barnes, H., Richards, M. R., McHugh, M. D., & Martsolf, G. (2018). Rural and Nonrural primary care physician practices increasingly rely on nurse practitioners. Health Affairs, 37(6), 908–914. Web.
Health Policy Committee. (2020). CS/CS/HB 607 — Direct Care Workers. The Florida Senate. Web.
Mississippi Board of Nursing. (2017). Nursing Practice Act. Web.