What an incredible Georgia legislative session! If you feel like you’ve been on a rollercoaster, you’re not alone. There were quite a few twists and turns for the bills we were tracking. The Georgia legislative session adjourned on Thursday, March 29. While multiple bills that would have impacted our patients and profession were introduced and saw movement, unfortunately, none made it to the finish line before the close of session.
Here’s a quick recap of the bills that AANP followed on your behalf:
SB351/HB927: As introduced, this legislation would have authorized APRNs in select settings to practice without a collaborative agreement. The bill was later amended to replace that language with a proposal to increase APRN/physician supervisory ratios from four to eight (to better align with the updated 2017 ratio language) and lift the restriction that APRNs order radiographic tests only in life-threatening situations. This legislation was amended and passed in each chamber but failed to reach a final vote.
SB432/HB301: As introduced, this legislation addressed preceptor shortages by proposing tax credits for community-based faculty preceptors accrued on a per preceptorship rotation basis. This legislation was amended and passed in the House but also failed to reach a final vote in the Senate.
SB334: As introduced, SB334 moved the Georgia Board of Nursing from the jurisdiction of the Secretary of State to the Department of Community Health for administrative purposes only. Other states have introduced similar legislation designed to streamline the administrative functions of licensure and decrease bureaucracy. This legislation passed the Senate but failed to advance to a hearing in the House.
Despite challenging political dynamics in the state capitol, Georgia NPs laid the groundwork for future sessions by forming relationships and educating lawmakers and staff on issues facing our patients and profession. Throughout the session, Georgia legislators gained greater awareness of the depth and breadth of care NPs already provide to Georgia patients. Kudos to you, AANP’s NP Organization members, and the full Georgia nursing community for working well together to represent the profession.
AANP will continue to stay in dialogue with policymakers and state member organizations to promote patient access to care. We look forward to continued efforts to bring quality, affordable and accessible care to Georgia in the coming sessions.