New Jersey Doctors and Nurses Spar Over Death Certificates
New Jersey legislators have passed a bill, awaiting Gov. Chris Christie’s signature, that would allow advanced practice nurses (APNs) to sign death certificates when a physician isn’t available. APNs, who receive graduate training in diagnosing and treating illnesses, contend they are often closest to patients and best positioned to attend routine needs, and that broadening their scope will help address a growing need for primary healthcare providers. Doctors argue that giving more authority to APNs will lead to a decline in the quality of healthcare because physicians have more extensive training and education than APNs have. They also say team based healthcare should always be led by a physician. The legislature passed a similar measure a year ago, but it got a pocket veto from the governor.
Read the NJ Spotlight story by Andrew Kitchenman.