BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) - Advanced practice nurses say the state poses too many legal barriers for them to properly treat patients.
They were in Boston Tuesday demanding changes to the law.
Nurse practitioners say Massachusetts has outdated laws that prevent them from addressing the needs of their patients to the full extent of their ability.
Currently, advanced practice nurses in Massachusetts cannot prescribe medicines or provide care without strict supervision by primary care physicians.
Western Massachusetts nurses are asking lawmakers to remove those restrictions and allow them to practice to the full extent of their education and training.
Advanced practice nurses have post-graduate degrees, pass national certification tests and can act as primary care providers.
"Nurse practitioners are able to practice and have their own patient panels but, if you have to wait to have a supervising physician, there may be a delay in care," said Cheryl Pascucci, Commonwealth Care Alliance.
"The care is actually enhanced when a nurse practitioner is available to patients," said Sheryl Derderian, Bay State Primary Care Practice.
Nurse practitioners are also requesting that health insurers to recognize them as primary care providers so they can bill clients for their services.