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On Oct. 12, 2018, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) proposed regulations that would allow advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who satisfy training and education requirements to practice independently of physicians.  

IDFPR proposes to implement 2017 amendments to the Illinois Nurse Practice Act by establishing a full practice authority licensing process so that APRNs can avoid the need for a collaborative agreement with a physician. The principal licensure requirements are:

  • Certification as a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife or clinical nurse specialist.
  • Continuing education and training (at least 250 hours).
  • At least 4,000 hours of clinical experience within the APRN’s area of certification after first attaining national certification. The clinical experience must be in collaboration with physicians and attested to by the APRN and the collaborating physicians or chair of the hospital accrediting committee.

The new license will expand APRN scope of practice by authorizing qualified APRNs to:

  • Practice without a collaborative agreement in all practice settings consistent with national certification.
  • Use local anesthetic, but not perform operative surgery. 
  • Prescribe, administer and dispense legend drugs and Schedules II through V controlled substances.
    • In order to prescribe benzodiazepines and Schedule II narcotic drugs the APRN must have a consultation relationship and will be subject to additional requirements and restrictions.
    • Dispensing of prescription drugs will require satisfaction of record-keeping, labelling and written prescription requirements similar to those that apply to physicians.

Other proposed revisions to the APRN regulations will:

  • Expand APRN continuing education requirements.
  • Revise the requirements for written collaborative agreements between APRNs and physicians.
  • Extend the facility-based exemption (which currently allows APRNs to provide services in licensed hospitals and ambulatory surgical treatment centers (ASTCs) without a collaborating agreement) to APRN services in hospital affiliates.
  • Allow APRNs in a hospital, hospital affiliate or ASTC setting to complete discharge prescriptions.

IDFPR is accepting comments on the proposed regulations through Nov. 26, 2018.

For more information, please contact the attorney listed below.

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