On May 18, advanced practice nurses across the state were elated when S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster signed senate bill S.345 into law. The new law increases the scope of practice for advanced nurse practitioners around the state, and in turn, grants more access to health care, especially for patients living in rural communities. 

“The passage of this bill is a true win for the people of South Carolina,” said Dean Gail Stuart, PhD, RN, FAAN. “It will allow nurses to bring the full force of their education and training to better meet the tremendous health care needs in this state. Nurses are the backbone of health care in this country and this bill recognizes their many contributions.” 

Effective July 1, nurse practitioners in South Carolina will be able to practice without direct approval from a supervising physician, write and sign off on certain prescriptions, and open a clinic beyond the 45-mile limit from the supervisor. 

This is excellent news for the citizens of South Carolina. Last year, the Palmetto State ranked 44th in America’s Health Rankings produced by the United Health Foundation. In a state where 19 of its 46 counties have 10 or fewer family physicians having highly educated and capable advanced practice nurses nearby will improve the state’s health challenges in rural areas.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

S.C. Bill R203 S345 (Sponsored by Senators Davis, McElveen, Scott and Fanning)

• Allows for nurse practitioner to work in a clinic beyond the previously enforced 45 miles from a supervising physician.

• Gives nurse practitioners the ability to write and sign off on certain prescriptions, including ADHD medications, painkillers, handicap placards and diabetic shoes.