By ThriveAP Team Member Leonel Cabrera
If you have been lucky enough to lay out under the summer sun amid Connecticut’s glamorous beaches, then you know the five or so hour drive to the water was well worth it. This state, albeit one of the smallest in the country, is looked upon fondly and is home to many firsts. The first U.S. newspaper, the color TV and the cheeseburger all originated in Connecticut, but does this innovative spirit extend to the scope of practice laws governing NP’s?
The nearly 3,000 nurse practitioners practicing in Connecticut are not allowed to practice independently but still enjoy many freedoms. Let’s take a look at the laws governing NP’s in the Nutmeg State.
Connecticut Nurse Practitioner Supervision Laws
Nurse practitioners in Connecticut are licensed as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) by the Public Health Department. For an NP to practice in Connecticut, he/she must have a collaborative agreement with a physician. Connecticut state law defines collaboration as “a mutually agreed upon relationship between an APRN and a physician who is educated, trained or has experience related to the APRN’s work”. The collaborating physician must have expertise in the area the NP works. The collaborative agreement must include a list of methods to review patient outcomes, communicate the NP-physician association to the patient and discuss levels of consultation and referral between the NP and the physician. The collaborative practice agreement must also include a method for reviewing correct measures, laboratory tests and therapeutics.
Nurse practitioners in Connecticut, if providing direct patient care, are required to have professional liability insurance of no less than five-hundred dollars for one person, per occurrence, and an aggregate of no less than one million five-hundred thousand dollars.
Connecticut Nurse Practitioner Prescribing Laws
NP’s have as much freedom prescribing medications in Connecticut as in most states. Under the written collaborative agreement with their physician, NP’s are able to prescribe, administer and dispense drugs. They can prescribe Schedule II to Schedule V medications as long as these classe distinctions are clearly stated in the collaborative practice agreement.
Prescriptions written by the NP must include the name, address and telephone number of the NP. They can, but are not required to, include the name of the collaborating physician.
Other Connecticut Scope of Practice Laws
Nurse practitioners enjoy a few additional freedoms when practicing in Connecticut. They are allowed to pronounce the death of a person and sign a death certificate so long as no longer than 24 hours have passed since the pronouncement. They are also able to legally sign handicap parking permits.
Fortunately for NP’s, scope of practice laws in the Connecticut are relatively lax. Although a collaborative practice agreement with a physician is required, Connecticut’s laws allows room for NP’s looking for broader responsibilities.