Give advanced practice nurses the authority to complete death certificates - Action Alert! - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

Give advanced practice nurses the authority to complete death certificates – Action Alert!

CALL (609) 777-2500 to urge Governor Christie to sign S1152 / A1319

S1152/A1319 would permit attending advanced practice nurses to determine cause of death and execute death certification of a patient if nurse is patient’s primary caregiver and if no collaborating physician is available to do so. The legislation will give Advanced Practice Nurses the authority and responsibility to complete death certificates in the same manner as physicians under specific circumstances ensuring the delivery of appropriate and medically-accurate postmortem care.

  • Advanced Practice Nurses are registered nurses who have advanced education and clinical preparation to provide primary care, diagnose and treat acute and chronic illnesses in a variety of specialties. Under current law, they are empowered to pronounce death, ascertain the case of death and provide the medical information required by the death certificate, but by law, they are not authorized to sign the death certificate.
  • Advanced Practice Nurses are often the last caregiver in attendance when a patient dies. If the state deems them qualified to diagnose and treat a person while they are living, there is no logical reason for denying these skilled health care professionals from completing a certificate of death.
  • Advanced Practice Nurses are authorized to sign death certificates in 27 States including NY, CT, PA, DE, MD, DC RI, MA, VT.
  • Allowing Advanced Practice Nurses to sign death certificates, including the cause of death section, should strengthen the accuracy of information required by the state and federal government to guide public health efforts.
  • The bill will help reduce costs by avoiding unnecessary referral to doctors and/or unnecessary autopsies while remaining sensitive and responsive to the needs of families and loved ones at the time of death.