Beginning Jan. 1, 2017 nurse practitioners and physician assistants will be able to prescribe controlled substances.
The law, signed Thursday by Gov. Rick Scott, will allow nurse practitioners and PAs to issue seven-day prescriptions for birth control, hydrocodone and more.
There are about 6,000 physician’s assistants and 18,000 nurse practitioners in Florida.
Until now, Florida was the only state that did not allow nurse practitioners prescribing privileges and one of two states that did not allow physician assistants the same privileges.
Exceptions to the bill include a provision preventing nurses who are not certified as psychiatric nurses from prescribing psychotropic medications like Adderall to minors, and nurse practitioners and PAs may not prescribe controlled substances in pain management clinics.
The law requires three hours of education every two years.
The bill passed the Senate unanimously and the House 117-1.