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California Senate Bill (SB) 667, titled Healing Arts: Pregnancy and Childbirth

California Senate Bill (SB) 667, titled Healing Arts: Pregnancy and Childbirth

I was just browsing the California state government website when I came across California Senate Bill (SB) 667, titled “Healing Arts: Pregnancy and Childbirth,” which was introduced on February 16, 2023, by Senator Bill Dodd. The law seeks to provide Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) more autonomy in their practice by allowing them to offer independent care for normal, low-risk pregnancies, including the right to admit and release patients as well as administer Schedule II or III restricted medicines and other prescriptions. Notably, when the bill was introduced in the Assembly, Assembly member Tim Grayson was a co-sponsor, suggesting bipartisan support for this proposal (California Legislative Information, 2023).

According to my investigation, there was no direct evidence of nurse participation in the development or sponsorship of SB 667. The bill’s emphasis on extending the role of CNMs, on the other hand, is a good move towards recognizing and utilizing advanced nursing practitioners to alleviate California’s obstetric care provider deficit.

SB 667 has already advanced through the legislative process, passing out of committee and onto the Assembly’s third reading on August 22, 2023. If the bill passes, it will have a huge influence on healthcare and nursing practice. This law might increase access to treatment, improve birth outcomes, and cut healthcare costs by allowing CNMs to practice with full power, including prescribing drugs and monitoring pregnancies. This potential transition is consistent with a worldwide trend of using midwives to provide a more complete approach to mother and infant health (Kwong et al., 2019).

It is pertinent to mention here that while the immediate impact of SB 667 is limited to California’s healthcare system and nursing practice, its principles may inspire other states or countries to consider similar measures to address healthcare gaps, improve maternal and infant outcomes, and leverage the expertise of nurse midwives. SB 667 might have a worldwide influence on healthcare and nursing by influencing best practices and regulatory changes outside of California’s boundaries. It is important to note that the measure has not yet been passed, and its fate will be determined by future parliamentary procedures (California Legislative Information, 2023).

References

California Legislative Information. (2023). Bill Text – SB-667 Healing arts: pregnancy and childbirth.
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202320240SB667

Kwong, C., Brooks, M., Dau, K. Q., & Spetz, J. (2019). California’s midwives: How scope of practice laws impact care. California Health Care Foundation. https://www.chcf.org/publication/californias-midwives/


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