The Senate on Thursday advanced a bill that would remove the requirement that certified nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives hold collaborative agreements with a physician.

Senate Bill 61 would put licensing solely under the South Dakota Board of Nursing, as opposed to the nursing board sharing that role with the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners. A CNM or CNP would need 1,040 hours of experience to operate independently, or they would have to hold a collaborative agreement with a physician or licensed CNM or CNP.

Bill Sponsor Sen. Deb Soholt, R-Sioux Falls, a registered nurse, said during Health and Human Services Committee testimony on Wednesday that the bill is needed for recruitment and retention, as in many rural areas, a CNP may be the only provider. Soholt said the bill would not replace or alter South Dakota’s health care delivery model nor would it expand the scope of practice for CNMs and CNPs.

Dean Krogman, chief lobbyist for the South Dakota State Medical Association (SDSMA), said the organization opposes the bill as it represents an expansion of the CNM’s and CNP’s medical practice. Krogman urged that if the legislature decides to pass the act, it should at least make sure the hours of service is upped to at least 2,000.

SDAHO did not take a formal position on the bill, as members of the Public Policy Council employee both doctors and nurses.