Michigan allows nurse practitioners (NPs) to practice under restrictive legislation. They don’t have the authority to practice independently; instead, they must be supervised by a licensed physician. Each state has scope-of-practice laws for APRNs, but they vary widely.
Michigan is known for having some of the toughest scope-of-practice legislation for NPs, leaving their tasks and functions to be delegated by a medical doctor. NPs also are not recognized as primary care providers in Michigan.
Many NPs are calling for new legislation that would make Michigan a Full Practice state. Doing so would increase the public’s access to affordable healthcare professionals. Michigan currently has a shortage of primary care providers and problems with access to more rural areas of the state.
The US Health Resources and Services Administration published a report stating that 3.4 million Michigan residents live in a federally designated primary healthcare shortage area. Only 50% of primary care needs are met, which is alarming.
Many NPs receive substantial training at the doctoral level and hold years of clinical experience that are recognized by other states. With the elderly population increasing, Michigan needs to pass new laws that provide medical assistance to those who need it most.
A bill was introduced last year, Senate Bill 0680, that looks to resolve the current NP debate in Michigan. The bill has plenty of support from the state’s residents and is expected to bring a welcome change to the current healthcare system.