TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) — A new bill signed by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly on Friday is expected to expand access to health care by allowing advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to practice independently.

Kelly said in a news release that the intention of the bill is to “improve the availability of high-quality health care” and will give APRNs the freedom to practice in rural areas of the state.

“This bill will increase access to care for all Kansans, many of whom rely on safe and expert APRN care today,” Amy Siple, APRN, president of Kansas Advanced Practice Nurses Association, said. “As the 26th state to remove these barriers for APRNs, Kansas demonstrates a commitment to improving the health of its citizens.” 

House Bill 2279 will require APRNs to maintain malpractice insurance and national certification for initial licensure as an APRN.

It also requires APRNs to comply with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency requirements related to controlled substances when it comes to prescribing controlled substances.