MMS Legislative Chairman and TMA Call Members to Action on Scope Bill

See below for letter from George Woodbury, M.D., Legislative Chairman for Memphis Medical Society. Members are encouraged to contact their legislators, particularly those highlighted from Memphis with ties to the Health Committee.

Dear Memphis Medical Society and Bluff City Medical Society members:

  • The Tennessee Nursing Association has proposed completely independent practice by nurse practitioners from physicians. Nurse practitioners include nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, advance practice nurses, and clinical nurse specialists.
  • The Tennessee Medical Association and the Memphis Medical Society have emphasized the importance of preserving our current physician-led, team-based care in Tennessee.
  • This piece of legislation is currently being brought by the Tennessee Nursing Association, and it will be voted upon by the Tennessee House Health Committee in Nashville by the end of February or in early March. It is called Tennessee House Bill 2203 (HB2203) and Senate Bill 2110 (SB 2110). This legislation, if passed, would mean that nurse practitioners will no longer require any oversight by physicians.
  • The amount of clinical training of MDs includes 7500 hours of clinically supervised training, prior to licensure in Tennessee. That of nurse practitioners includes a minimum of 1500 hours, and much of that training is permitted to be online. Nurses should be allowed to continue to practice to the level of their training, but for patient safety this practice by nurse practitioners must not include independent practice. None of the Southeastern states currently allow independent practice by nurse practitioners.

The following seven western Tennessee legislators currently serve on the Tennessee Health Committee. They would each benefit from a prompt phone call and a prompt email from all of our Memphis Medical Society and Bluff City membership right away, as they will are currently considering approving this legislation, as of mid-February or early March. Time for commentary is right now.

RepresentativeDistrict/AreaContact Info.
Larry Miller88: Midtown Memphis/North Memphis615-741-4453
Barbara Cooper86: Downtown Memphis, North and South Downtown Memphis615-741-4295
GA HardawayMidtown Memphis, including the district of the University of Tennessee Medical Center615-741-5625
Mark White83: East
Ron Gant94: Fayette
Kevin VaughanGermantown/ 615-741-1866
Tom Leatherwood99: Arlington/Lakeland615-741-7084

If you would also like to meet with one or more of these legislators in person regarding this issue here in Shelby County, feel free to send me an Email ( or to call me (1-901-753-0168). And thanks for your interest in keeping the healthcare system in Tennessee healthy.


George Woodbury Jr., M.D.

Chair, Legislative Committee, Memphis Medical Society