December 13, 2016
The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced a final decision on its proposal to grant Full Practice Authority to APRNs at all VA facilities. The amended regulations permit Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse Midwives, and Clinical Nurse Specialists to practice to the full scope of their training and education. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists have been excluded from the rule change for now, but the VA is requesting comment while it considers future amendments.
"Today's announcement is a big win for veterans across the country and at VA facilities here in North Carolina," said NCNA Chief Executive Officer Tina Gordon, MPA, CAE, FACHE. "The exclusion of CRNAs is very disappointing. We would have preferred to see all four APRN groups moving in unison, but we are glad to see that the Department of Veterans Affairs is still seeking comment."
The proposal to grant Full Practice Authority to APRNs attracted an extraordinary amount of attention throughout much of 2016. The VA received more than 223,000 comments during the open comment period that ended in July, and an AANP survey showed that 88% of Americans supported the Department of Veterans Affairs’ proposal.
At the state level, NCNA hopes to use this news to bolster its ongoing efforts to modernize the Nursing Practice Act. The exclusion of CRNAs makes the conversation a little more complicated, but ultimately does not change what we are trying to do since CRNAs do not have to contend with physician supervision in North Carolina.
We will be sure to update our members with the latest information. In the meantime, we hope you will plan to join us for some of the many advocacy opportunities during North Carolina's 2017 legislative session.