The California Board of Registered Nursing Has Released the Application for Certification as a Section 103 Nurse Practitioner
As previously analyzed in our Health Care Counsel Blog, the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) released proposed regulations in September 2022 addressing several statutory mandates pertaining to the expansion of the nurse practitioner (NP) scope of practice. The regulations address the application process for becoming certified under Business and Professions Code Section 2837.103 (referred to as Section 103 NPs) or Section 2837.104 (referred to as Section 104 NPs). The regulations also address the minimum qualification requirements, certain protocol and notice requirements, and the highly anticipated “transition to practice” definition.
The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the proposed regulations in December, and they became effective January 1, 2023. The new regulations do not automatically grant an expanded scope of practice to any NP. Rather, as required by the statute, all NPs who wish to practice without standardized procedures must first apply to the BRN for a special certification. The Section 103 NP application is now available on California’s BreEZe application platform. Because the law requires an NP to work as a Section 103 NP in good standing for at least three years prior to becoming a Section 104 NP, the Section 104 NP application will not be available until 2026.
In its Final Statement of Reasons to the OAL supporting the proposed regulations, the BRN noted that it expects up to 32,000 NPs to apply for the Section 103 certification once the regulations are effective. The BRN announced that the application will use a streamlined, automated approach to ensure quick processing times; however, it remains to be seen how quickly the agency will be able to process all the anticipated applications. What is clear is that those applying for Section 103 NP certification, and the organizations and professionals who work with them, should take the time now to become familiar with the breadth and limit of the newly expanded scope of practice (discussed further in our Health Care Counsel article, If At First You Don’t Succeed: After Years of Rejection, California Nurse Practitioners Have a Path to Independent Practice).
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