As the demand for health care workers surges with the coronavirus case count, many states are rushing to lift restrictions on nurse practitioners, who provide much of the same care as doctors do.
But California allows nurse practitioners to work only under the supervision of a doctor, and most limitations on their practice are likely to hold.
Although easing restrictions is a simple regulatory matter elsewhere, such proposals in California are dragged down by decades of contentious political fighting — and the state’s powerful doctors’ lobby argues that California already has enough providers.
These “are often some of the definitive health care battles that happen in Sacramento,” said Mike Madrid, a Republican political consultant who has been analyzing California politics for more than 25 years. “They’re evergreen fights, they never go away.”
Nurse practitioners are highly trained nurses with at least a master’s degree. By comparison, registered nurses have at