New Public Health Law Allows Nurse Practitioners to Write DNR and MOLST Orders

On November 29, 2017, Governor Cuomo signed Senate Bill S1869A into law, amending the New York State Public Health Law to allow attending nurse practitioners (NPs) to sign Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders and Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST). The law goes into effect on May 28, 2018, at which time patients will have the option of making healthcare decisions with a healthcare provider of their choice, including nurse practitioners who are acting as primary care providers. Under the existing law, only an attending physician may sign DNR and MOLST orders on behalf of patients and their families.

The new law acknowledges that nurse practitioners are increasingly serving as primary care providers, especially in the nursing home setting, that NPs possess the required expertise and training to execute DNR and MOLST orders, and that end-of-life decisions will no longer require an order from a physician with whom the patient may not have had an established relationship.

To read Bill S1869A in its entirety, please click here and select “text” in the tool bar.