daphne_campbell_web.jpgTALLAHASSEE — State Rep. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami, announced she has filed a bill in the Legislature that would authorize Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) to initiate involuntary examinations under the Baker Act.

Campbell explained that while many counseling professionals and physician assistants have the power to involuntarily commit patients who are suicidal or homicidal, advanced registered nurse practitioners are not recognized as being able to involuntarily commit patients.

Her bill, House Bill 1195, would amend the law to extend the same authority to ARNPs.

"The move to allow advanced registered nurse practitioners to practice at their full scope has proven to be very difficult in the state of Florida,” Campbell said in a statement.

Campbell, a Registered Nurse for more than 30 years, said she and the Florida Council of Advanced Practice Nurses had tried to remove “barriers” for ARNPs. “However, due to arguments over education and training requirements, as well as the highly contested benefits and costs of recognizing the full scope of ARNPs and physician assistants, the scope of practice for ARNP's and PA's has remained very limited,” she said.

She said she has worked closely with ARNPs and PAs and had seen “their capacity to do exemplary work.”

“­Their training and requirements are more than sufficient to initiate involuntary examinations under the Baker Act,” she said.

She said her bill recognizes the ability of the highly trained professionals and she looks forward to working with the Florida Council of Advanced Practice Nurses and the Florida Medical Association to better define the requirements that both physicians and ARNPs must attain in order to possess certain abilities.

Photo: State Rep. Daphne Campbell