Header, the Administration of the Honorable Lincoln C. Almond
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  2002 Signature
2002 Veto
2002 No Action

2001 Veto
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2000 Signature
2000 Veto
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1999 Signature
1999 Veto

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1998 Veto
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1997 Veto

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1996 Veto

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1995 Veto
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August 5, 1996


In accordance with the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws § 43-1-4, I am transmitting herewith, with my disapproval, 96-S-2789, Substitute B, "An Act Relating to Businesses and Professions Nurses."

This legislation expands the range of medications for which a certified registered nurse practitioner may write prescriptions. Under current law, these nurse practitioners have prescriptive privileges for controlled substances listed in the Uniform Controlled Substances Act from schedules IV and V, which include drugs such as phenobarbital and low dosages of codeine. This legislation would expand these nurses' prescriptive privileges to schedule II and III substances, which include such controlled substances as morphine, opium and amphetamines.

I do not support this legislation as written since it applies only to certified registered nurse practitioners and ignores other non-physician health care professionals with prescriptive privileges. I would support a more comprehensive examination of expanding prescriptive privileges which would include all non-physician health care professionals. I believe that the best approach to the expansion of prescriptive privileges is for the General Assembly to authorize a study commission, under the supervision of the Director of the Department of Health, to determine which specific prescriptive drugs could be ordered by the several non-physician health professions with prescriptive privileges. Moreover, I believe that the technical discussions necessary to properly assess the scope of these prescriptive privileges are better conducted within the regulatory process with structured input from all of the affected professions and other knowledgeable parties. This approach would establish a consistent, comprehensive and ongoing mechanism for assuring that the various licensed non-physician health professions with prescriptive privileges have appropriate training and authority for prescribing medications in light of the continuing evolution of the health care delivery system.

For this reason, I disapprove of the legislation as it is currently proposed and respectfully urge your support of this veto.


Lincoln Almond