On September 25, Senator Michael Green (31st District) introduced a bill that would expand the definition of the practice of nursing to include "administration of anesthesia by a registered professional nurse who holds a specialty certification as a nurse anesthetist." Senate Bill 1309 was referred to the Senate Health Policy Committee after two readings. Presently, nurse anesthetists in Michigan are required to have physician supervision. The practical effect of the bill would be to explicitly expand the scope of practice of nursing to include administration of anesthesia, thereby negating the need for physician supervision. Because physician supervision is mandated only in the practice of medicine, by fitting administration of anesthesia into the practice of nursing, nurse anesthetists would have direct (as opposed to delegated) authority to administer anesthesia.
Senate Bill 1309 is just another example of the trend of expanding the realm of non-physician healthcare providers driven by economic and legislative pressure.