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Nurse prescriptions on hold

ATLANTA - The sponsor of legislation allowing advanced-practice registered nurses in Georgia to write prescriptions pulled it from the House floor Thursday to rework an amended version of the bill.

The change, proposed this week by two House Republican leaders, would make it easier for APRNs to prescribe drugs to patients without extensive supervision from a doctor in certain settings, including mental health facilities.

The version of the bill approved by the House Judiciary Committee last week includes a similar provision for hospital emergency rooms, public health clinics and birthing centers.

While nothing in the measure is intended to give APRNs prescriptive authority in abortion clinics, some anti-abortion groups have raised concerns that it could be interpreted that way, said Rep. Sue Burmeister, R-Augusta, the bill's sponsor.

"Rather than have this big (floor) debate, I decided to recommit it to (the House) Rules (Committee) ... and sit down, without the rhetoric, to address it,'' she said.

Burmeister, who is among the Legislature's staunchest opponents of abortion, said the bill would be recrafted in the committee to clarify that it wouldn't apply to abortion clinics.