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CA Senator resurrects bill to expand role of nurse practitioners




 Dr. Stephen DiMarzo (L) and nurses go over work details in the maternity ward at Scripps Memorial Hospital on January 9, 2007 in La Jolla, California.
Dr. Stephen DiMarzo (L) and nurses go over work details in the maternity ward at Scripps Memorial Hospital on January 9, 2007 in La Jolla, California.
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

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California State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) has re-introduced a bill that would give nurses the ability to provide primary care without supervision by a physician.

The language of Senate Bill 323 still needs to be fleshed out, but Hernandez told KPCC that it would likely give nurses the power to diagnose patients, provide primary care, and write prescriptions independently. A similar bill introduced by Hernandez in 2013 failed.

Last week, a study released by the Association of American Medical Colleges, a lobby group for medical schools, found that the shortage of doctors in the US will rise to between 46,000 and 90,000 by 2025. One solution is to expand the role of nurses--something that doctors and associations representing doctors have been traditionally against.

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Guests:

Ed Hernández (D-West Covina), California State Senator who represents the 22nd Senate District, which encompasses the cities and communities of the San Gabriel Valley, including Alhambra, Monterey Park, West Covina. He is the author of Senate Bill 323.

Donna Emanuele, Registered Nurse and President of the California Association of Nurse Practitioners

Yvonne Choong, Senior Director of Medical and Regulatory Policy at the California Medical Association