When the nurse practitioner prescribes controlled substances, an endorsement to the Cooperation Practice Agreement, which specifically deals with this prescribing capacity, is required. The Louisiana State Board of Nursing presents the cooperation agreement to be signed by NP and MD. HB 416, sponsored by State Representative Regina Barrow (D-Baton Rouge), would allow Nurse Practitioners (NPs) to pursue full practice power in the state of Louisiana. This option would allow nurses to evaluate patients, diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests, initiate and manage treatments – including prescription drugs – under the sole authority of the nursing administration. These are activities they are already doing, but they would eliminate the costly and unnecessary red tape of collaborative practice agreements that NPPs are currently required to have with physicians. If the law is passed, the decision to work with physicians through a collaborative practice agreement is left to the discretion of the NP to determine whether this approach is the right one for them. In Louisiana, the cooperating doctor is not required to practice on site or at a certain distance from the nurse. However, the cooperating physician must be available by telephone or with another method of communication to be in contact with the NP at any time if necessary. The agreement on collaborative practice is necessary to go around this agreement. A “back-up” secondary physician may also be appointed in case the primary cooperating physician is not reachable. In the event that the NP is unable to obtain a cooperating MD, the Louisiana Child Use Practice Act prohibits the nurse from prescribing this period. Each year, nurses working in Louisiana must receive six hours of pharmacology training as part of their practical specialty to maintain their ability to prescribe. Louisiana State Law implies, but not quite, that nurses can be officially listed as primary care providers.
PNs can sign parking cards for people with disabilities and workers must not sign a death certificate.