EASTON, Md. (June 13, 2023) – Claudia Tilley, MSN, RN, APRN-CNS, AGCNS-BC, patient education specialist and diabetes educator for University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, was instrumental in the passing of new legislation allowing clinical nurse specialists (CNS) in Maryland the authority to prescribe medication. Nurses who have achieved the CNS certification have had the legal authority to prescribe in 39 states, including Maryland’s border states – Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia.
A clinical nurse specialist is a master’s or doctorate-prepared nurse who is board certified by a national accrediting body and licensed as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) on the state level. There are over 300 clinical nurse specialists in Maryland.
The CNS prescribing legislation (Senate Bill 213 and House Bill 278) which will go into effect October 1, was signed into law by Governor Wes Moore last month. Visit umshoreregional.org/Senate-Bill0213 to read the complete bill.
“Claudia worked tirelessly to move this legislation forward,” said Kathy Elliott, Director, Professional Nursing Practice/Magnet Program. “Without her hard work, this legislation may never have come to life.”
The new legislation allows the CNS profession to practice at the full extent of their training and licensure, and help fill gaps in care and improve health outcomes for the communities served, including those on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
“I am very proud to say I played a part of this historic endeavor to advance nursing and the CNS profession in Maryland,” said Tilley.
Through the Chesapeake Bay Affiliate of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists and the Maryland Academy of Advanced Practice Clinicians, Tilley participated in a work group with 11 other CNS nurses, two nurse practitioners and a lobbyist who provided guidance.
Tilley worked with the Maryland General Assembly to promote the bill and educate legislators, sending emails and providing written testimony for committee hearings in both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly. She spoke personally with Delegate Thomas Hutchinson, who represents Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, and Wicomico counties, to explain the importance of the bill with regard to improving patient outcomes. In February, Tilley presented oral testimony at the House of Delegates Health and Government Operations Committee hearing in Annapolis.
Support was also secured from the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, Maryland Board of Nursing, Maryland Nurses Association, Maryland APRN groups and other organizations, including Johns Hopkins Health System, University of Maryland Medical System and AARP.