The Alabama Senate Health Committee has passed a bill that will allow nurse practitioners and nurse midwives to write prescriptions for certain controlled substances.
The committee's unanimous vote Wednesday sends the bill to the Senate for consideration.
Proponents of the bill say it aims to increase access to medical care, especially in rural areas. They said some rural residents must travel 30 miles or more to get a prescription for cough syrup or to renew prescriptions.
The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Greg Reed of Jasper, said Alabama is one of two states that do not grant prescription authority to advance practice nurses.
The state Board of Medical Examiners would be the licensing and oversight body for nurse midwives and nurse practitioners.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.