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Psychiatric Nurses

by Health and Human Services Committee; Health Quality Subcommittee; and Reps. Plasencia, Campbell, and others (CS/SB 476 by Health Policy Committee and Senator Grimsley)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Health Policy Committee (HP)

The bill revises the definition of a psychiatric nurse under the Florida Mental Health Act, also known as, the Baker Act. A psychiatric nurse must be an advanced registered nurse practitioner who has an advanced degree in psychiatric nursing, holds a national advanced practice certification as a psychiatric-mental health advanced practice nurse, and has 2 years of post-master’s clinical experience under the supervision of a physician.

A psychiatric nurse is authorized to examine a patient for whom involuntary examination has been initiated at a receiving facility under the Baker Act. The bill authorizes a psychiatric nurse to release a patient from involuntary examination in a receiving facility only if the receiving facility is owned or operated by a hospital or health system and the psychiatric nurse is performing within the framework of an established protocol with a psychiatrist.

A psychiatric nurse is authorized to release a patient whose involuntary examination was initiated by a psychiatrist only upon approval by that psychiatrist.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2015.

Vote: Senate 39-0; House 116-2