(KTEN) — The Oklahoma Legislature has passed a bill that would let nurse practitioners prescribe medication without a doctor's supervision.  

Senate Bill 458 is awaiting the signature of Gov. Kevin Stitt. The measure would give nurse practitioners more autonomy when prescribing medications, which would serve to help patients who are facing financial barriers when seeking medical treatment.

"They're trying to set some guidelines in what they do for that being the prescribing authority as far as auditing charts, looking at different drugs... whereas now there's no guideline," said nurse practitioner Mary Stuard with Oklahoma Integrated Care.

Tasha Preston, a nurse practitioner in both family and psychiatric care, has two masters degrees to her name, and is currently working on her doctorate.

"All advanced practice nurses have a masters or a higher degree, including doctorates, and we are prepared with clinical hours," she said.

As a minimum, the legislation would require that nurse practitioners complete 6,240 hours of practice under a doctor's authority before getting the green light to write prescriptions independently.

"Approximately equates to about three years of practice that we would be under a supervising physician, and then after that three years we would be able to petition the Board of Nursing to lift it off our licensure," Preston explained.

State Rep. Tammy Townley (R-District 48) voiced her support as co-author of the bill.

"It's important to recognize that ARPNs have been granted full practice authority in the Veterans Affairs system since 2016, demonstrating their capacity to provide high quality care independently," she said in a written statement. 

"I just can't emphasize enough how much it opens up access to rural communities in Oklahoma," Preston added.