Access to mental health care set to improve as AB 890 goes into effect

A nurse looks at medical documentation

Californians facing challenges accessing healthcare (including mental healthcare) will soon get relief after a state board approved one of the final steps in implementing Assembly Bill 890 (Wood).

On Monday,  California’s Board of Registered Nursing approved rules that will allow nurse practitioners to treat patients without physician supervision. The 2020 law allows licensed nurse practitioners to work to the full scope of their license by expanding their ability to treat patients, including those affected by mental health challenges, without a physician’s supervision. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with extra training who have earned advanced degrees — either a master’s degree or a doctorate. Currently, they must enter into a written agreement with a physician who oversees their work with patients.

Expanding the role and authority of nurse practitioners will help address the large and growing shortage of primary care physicians in California.

The Steinberg Institute was proud to be a supporter of this vital legislation when it passed and was signed into law in 2020. Read more about what’s next in this CalMatters story from reporter Ana B. Ibarra.


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