For sixteen years, Florida nurse practitioners have been denied the opportunity to prescribe painkillers and other controlled substances – despite the fact that their colleagues in 48 other states do so without problem.
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners has long recommended full prescriptive authority for NPs, citing their extensive education in pathophysiology, pharmacology and clinical diagnosis. Florida NPs argue that denying prescriptive power unnecessarily hampers their effectiveness.
The Florida Nurses Association is expected to again lobby the legislature for full prescriptive power this spring. A 2008 state senate report supports their bid, recommending giving qualified NPs the authority to write prescriptions for controlled substances.