Nurse association wants physician oversight requirements lifted in light of pandemic

nurses in tennessee
Posted at 9:10 PM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 22:10:11-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Tennessee nurses group wants Gov. Bill Lee to reinstate an executive order allowing them to bypass physician collaboration.

Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Tennessee Nurses Association Executive Director Tina Girardi said hospitals are moving staff around to cover the capacity increase.

"It's tough. It's really tough right now," said Girardi.

In Tennessee, nurse practitioners must have physician oversight of patient charts and other requirements. Girardi said it's an increase in paperwork that's cumbersome as patients increase in the ICUs.

Also, she hopes the governor looks at rules not allowing nurse practitioners from moving from their specialty to help with the coronavirus.

"Nurse practitioners and others have to work in the specialty in which they were certified. If we could remove that requirement, at least right now, we would be able to better utilize nursing staff and particularly APRN where they're needed right now in the health care system," said Girardi.

Back in March, Gov. Lee already enacted an order to halt the requirement of physician oversight of nurses. However, it expired after just a few months.

Girardi said her organization has already sent a letter to the governor's office making the request.