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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Massachusetts Enacts Law Improving Access to Care

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) recognizes the leadership of Governor Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts legislature in improving health care for the people of the Commonwealth through the passage on January 1, of An Act Promoting a Resilient Health Care System That Puts Patients First. Massachusetts joins 22 other states, the District of Columbia and two U.S. territories in adopting Full Practice Authority legislation, enabling patients to directly access the full breadth of healthcare services nurse practitioners (NPs) are educated in and clinically trained to provide. Passage of this legislation significantly strengthens healthcare delivery throughout the state.

“Massachusetts is the latest state to embrace a better care delivery model that recognizes NPs as part of the solution for addressing increasing health care needs,” says AANP President Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP. “This decision aligns with the evidence and recommendations for NP licensure from leading health policy groups like the National Academy of Medicine. Research shows that states with Full Practice Authority maintain strong safety and quality outcomes and improve both access to care and cost savings.”

“Through passage of this legislation Governor Baker has unlocked a tremendously powerful resource for the healthcare system and for patients,” says Alison Shaw, a registered nurse, former family nurse practitioner and owner of Bodymind Repatterning, in Lexington, where she uses her innate skills, perception and unique abilities to create and hold a safe environment in which people can heal. Shaw adds, “Nurse practitioners are trained and equipped to manage this level of acute patient care and it’s time we recognize and use these invaluable clinicians to their full capacity. Advanced practice nurses also bring a humanistic approach to patient care which has been proven to improve clinical outcomes.

To locate a nurse practitioner in your community, visit To learn more about Alison Shaw and her services, visit