Nurse practitioners, doctors at odds over bill

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Some Mississippi physicians and nurse practitioners are at odds over a bill that would change the way they work together.

The House bill would delete a regulation that the advanced-practices nurses enter into a collaborative agreement with a physician located within 15 miles. A hearing on the proposal was held Tuesday at the Capitol.

According to the Mississippi Nurses Association, there are 2,000 nurse practitioners who fill the void particularly in rural areas like Issaquena and Sharkey counties, which have no physicians.

Dr. Tim Alford of Kosciusko, president of the Mississippi State Medical Association, says the current arrangement provides needed clinical oversight.

House Public Health Committee Chairman Steve Holland has urged the doctors and nurses to reach a compromise.

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The bill is House Bill 605.