AARP AARP States Delaware Health & Wellbeing

Expanding Health Care Options with APRNs

Home healthcare nurse with senior adult patient. Medications.

Delaware is experiencing a shortage of primary care physicians, hindering access to care for a population that is one of the oldest in the nation. 

After an advocacy campaign by AARP Delaware, Gov. John Carney (D) signed legislation giving nurse practitioners full authority to practice independently. Previously, advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) had to  have a collaborative agreement with a physician. 

APRNs in the state can now  evaluate patients, diagnose and interpret medical tests, manage treatments, and prescribe medications and controlled substances. 

Allowing these medical professionals to operate without a contract with a doctor may expand options for patients who are not be able to see a physician. 

The law makes Delaware the 24th state to permit independent practice by APRNs. 

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