Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners in Arizona now can play larger roles in the care of their patients who have been deemed dangers to themselves or others.
A change in statutes under Title 36 regarding mental health patients allows psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners to provide court-ordered evaluations and court-ordered treatment of their patients. Ray Kronenbitter, RN, MSN, PCCN, director of governmental affairs for the Arizona Nurses Association, said the legislation which went into effect in October is a positive step for both advanced practice nurses and patients.
Its simply a matter of changing the language to allow psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners to practice what theyve been trained to practice, Kronenbitter said.Ray Kronenbitter, RN
Before the legislation, mental health patients could receive court-ordered evaluation and treatment only from physicians and psychiatrists, Kronenbitter said. That meant patients already under the care of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners were forced to receive treatment from potential strangers if they were considered dangers to themselves or others.
It expands [patients] access to care by more thoroughly including psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, Kronenbitter said. Just imagine if you had no choice about who you could see.
Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, along with ANA lobbyists and State Sen. Amanda Aguirre, D-Yuma, drafted the legislation, Kronenbitter said.