Discussion on state practice agreements | Nursing homework help
Texas’s licensing requirements are the main barrier for nurse practitioners to practice independently. In Texas, the Texas Nurse Practice Act requires NPs to enter into a collaboration agreement with a physician supervisor in order to be able to provide independent care. The Texas Nurse Practice Act limits the access of rural and underserved populations to healthcare, because they lack sufficient numbers of doctors. This makes it hard for NPs without a collaboration agreement to provide health care. NPs still need to obtain the approval of the State Board of Nursing even after securing the required agreement.
There are also a number of other restrictions which prevent NPs from being independent in Texas. This may dissuade some providers to enter the industry. There are mandatory courses for continuing education; requirements to monitor and authorize prescription drugs; annual evaluations required by physicians who collaborate; as well as mandated fee structures and participation in health insurance plans. This adds another level of cost and complexity that makes it difficult for aspiring NPs who want to become independent providers to do so in Texas. Despite all these obstacles, however, the support for a greater degree of autonomy in NPs’ scopes of practice is growing among Texas legislators.