Nurses' Expanded Role Boosts Primary Care

Three Nurses
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Under a new state law, advanced-practice registered nurses will be able to prescribe medications (except for controlled substances) after working under contract with a physician for four years.

As a result, Kentuckians will have greater access to primary care services, including diagnosis, prescriptions and referrals. The change also could ease the burden on family caregivers, who often schedule and provide transportation to appointments.

The law, which will take effect in July, is expected to relieve provider shortages in a state that last year ranked 36th in primary care physicians per capita. Hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians have since signed up for coverage through kynect, the state’s health insurance marketplace.

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