While the headlines have been full of COVID and the election of late, there’s one story that will likely stand out to California nurse practitioners: AB 890.
Assembly Bill 890 was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on September 29 and makes California the 23rd state in the U.S. to offer Full Practice Authority (FPA) to NPs. It goes into effect in January 2023, with implementation details to be developed over the next two years.
As described by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, FPA is the authorization of NPs to “evaluate patients, diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests and initiate and manage treatments—including prescribe medications—under the exclusive licensure authority of the state board of nursing.” In short, AB 890 allows NPs to work without physician supervision.
Advocates cite FPA’s potential for improved access to care, more streamlined care delivery, decreased costs, and improved patient choice.
How does FPA relate to orthopedic care?
From our perspective, FPA may present a unique opportunity to improve nonsurgical care for patients with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions, as well as open up ortho-related skill building opportunities for clinicians.
One in two patients live with some sort of muscle, bone, or joint condition, many of them chronically. Newly independent NP clinics could lead the way toward making sure this large but still underserved patient population gets the help it needs. Providers with appropriate MSK skills on their teams could not only have a readymade market of patients to serve, but also improve the overall standard of care for so many in our community who live with pain needlessly.
How we can help
Our courses and workshops are designed to help nurses and other clinicians assess, diagnose and treat common MSK conditions with a nonsurgical focus. Our Orthopedic Primary Care (OPC) Courses and Orthopedic Injection Workshops (OIW) are well suited to help the emerging NP clinics prepare for what’s likely to be a post-COVID deluge of MSK patients, and the training can be completed in plenty of time before AB 890 takes hold.
For example, our four OPC courses are 65-80 CEUs each (online or blended learning), and our Injection Workshops can each be completed in a day.
And even if an NP doesn’t plan to establish their own clinic, having recent MSK training on their CV is likely to be an asset to a new cohort of NP employers.
We’re excited to see how this new clinical landscape unfolds here in California, and we stand ready to assist our fellow providers as they bring a new, NP-led dimension to care for patients across California.
We're the staff and volunteers at Jackson Orthopedic Foundation, committed to improving the lives of patients with musculoskeletal conditions through education, research and service.