SPRINGFIELD – A newly signed state law allows nurses to provide the highest possible level of care when staffing rural ambulances.
Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) and Representative Don Moffitt (R-Gilson) sponsored the legislation – HB 4523 – in an effort to improve rural emergency care. It allows rural emergency medical services to operate their ambulances at the same level of certification as the nurses who staff them.
"With this legislation becoming law, the level of emergency medical services that may be provided in rural Illinois will be significantly improved. I commend Senator Sullivan for his leadership in the Senate in passing this bipartisan legislation. As a result, even more lives will be saved." Moffitt said.
"In some rural areas of the state an ambulance ride can last up to an hour. It only makes sense to allow nurses certified at a specific level to provide the highest level of care during the ambulance ride," Sullivan said.
Previously, nurses were only authorized to provide care up to the level that the ambulances they are riding in are certified for. Sullivan and Moffitt's new law allows rural, pre-hospital registered nurses to provide the same level of care they are trained to give.
A law passed last year permitted other paramedics to provide care at their highest possible level. The new law, signed Tuesday by the governor, simply extends the law to include nurses.
The new provisions regarding nurses take effect Jan. 1.