Wisconsin patients beware: some nurses don’t want physicians involved in your
health care. The State Legislature is currently considering legislation to alter the
way health care is provided in the state.
Assembly Bill 396 and Senate Bill 394 authored by Representative Rachel CabralGuevara (R-Appleton) and Senator Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) eliminate the
physician-led health care teams that make Wisconsin a national leader in quality of
care. Instead, the legislation allows advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to
practice independently, removing physician oversight from your health care.
Nurses do not have the education and training necessary to independently practice
After college, physicians enroll in four years of medical school followed by 3 to 7
years of supervised residency training before they are allowed to practice medicine
on their own and with good reason. It can’t be overstated; practicing medicine is a
difficult and complex undertaking in which human lives are at stake. APRNs want to
be able to practice independently like physicians after completing an 18-to-36-
month master’s course, many of which are done completely online with no clinical
State law requires physicians and nurses at the very least to practice under
collaborative agreements. These agreements ensure physicians and nurses work
together to consult and strategize the best course of treatment for patients. Current
law requires health care providers to work together for the benefit of patients.
To be clear, as an organization representing thousands of Wisconsin physicians, we
support working together with our nurse colleagues. They are invaluable members
of our team and patient outcomes are enhanced because we work together. In fact,
Wisconsin routinely ranks in the top five in the country for quality of health care,
according to reports from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Why would we want to jeopardize our state’s success?
The legislation eliminates collaborative agreement requirements, so nurses do not
need to work in an official relationship with physicians. Representative CabralGuevara, an APRN herself and owner of her own nursing clinic, and others in the
nursing field complain the state’s collaborative agreement requirements are too
onerous. She cites this as an issue for her business and the small handful of similar
nursing clinics in the state. However, as the Wisconsin Nurses Association identified
in its testimony at public hearings in July, that is often due to contractual obligations
physicians are forced to honor with their health care system employers that legally
prevent physicians from entering into collaborative agreements.
Assembly Bill 396 and Senate Bill 394 irresponsibly transform the way health care
is provided in Wisconsin in order to potentially help a small handful of nursing clinic
This bill, as written, would allow an APRN who just graduated from an online school
to practice independently. Wisconsinites, would you feel comfortable sending your
child or elderly parents to an independent APRN clinic with little experience?
We feel obligated to make the public aware of this legislation. We urge you to
contact your legislators at 1-800-362-9472 and demand they reject this dangerous