Gov. Dave Heineman vetoed Legislative Bill 916, which would have allowed nurse practitioners to practice without a supervising doctor. Currently, Nebraska state law requires nurse practitioners to have a practice agreement with a doctor. Gov. Heineman has made sure that continues.
According to the Omaha World Herald, the supporters of LB 916 claim that the current model – requiring NPs to have a supervising doctor – contributes to a shortage of primary and mental health care in rural areas. And of course, this is Nebraska we are talking about.
Heineman explained that although he expects NPs to obtain more independence in the future, that time was not yet here. He was also concerned with patient safety, claiming he would have signed the bill if it required NPs to have at least 4000 hours of clinical experience.
The governor’s veto came despite LB 916 passing by 43-0. It only takes 30 votes to override a veto. But the bill was passed on the last day of the legislative session and there will not be a chance to actually override his veto.
One of the main opponents to the bill was physician groups who were concerned with patient safety.