Advocacy Updates

President Obama Signs Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) Into Law

On July 22, 2016, President Obama signed bipartisan legislation that will provide increased access to treatment for patients facing opioid addiction.

Throughout the debate on this legislation in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, ANA actively sought to address barriers and expand access to treatment and prevention services. We are proud to report that the CARA includes key provisions that bolster nurses’ ability to help their patients suffering with substance use disorders.

The legislation marks significant progress and reflects the concerted effort ANA has put forth to advance nursing’s role in fighting the opioid crisis.

The legislation expands access to medication-assisted treatment by allowing Nurse Practitioners, for the first time, to prescribe buprenorphine in accordance with state law. The legislation authorizes this critical treatment option through fiscal year 2021.

About the Legislation:

  • The Agreement amends the definition of qualifying practitioner (previously only physicians), to authorize nurse practitioners to prescribe buprenorphine (medication-assisted treatment).
  • Following 30 first year -- NPs meet the criteria to receive an HHS waiver, nurse practitioners could increase their reach to write prescriptions for as many as 100 patients -- the same limit that applies to physicians who receive a waiver.
  • The measure would authorize an HHS pilot program to expedite the hiring of qualified veterans as civilian health-care professionals, including emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, nurses, physical therapy assistants and physician assistants.
  • The new authority for nurse practitioners would expire at the end of fiscal 2021.
  • The legislation calls for a study that among other things asks the Secretary to consider what additional health providers are appropriate for the expanded authority.

Decoding 2016: The Future of Healthcare - July 19, 2016

Follow the conversation on social media with the hashtag #DecodingHC

LHHS-Ed Appropriations Update

On June 9, 2016, the Senate Appropriations Committee advanced its fiscal year 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS-ED) spending bill.

The bill includes a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and would invest $229 million for critical funding nurse workforce development programs.

With election season on the horizon, Congress will be looking to recess for the summer by mid-July. The shortened legislative calendar could pose a challenge in passing a bicameral bill ahead the end of the fiscal year on September 30. ANA will continue to work with key members of the appropriations committee and leadership in the House and Senate throughout the process to ensure nurse workforce development programs are appropriately funded.

Public Review, Comments Now Available on Proposed Regulation on APRNs

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) within the Department of Veteran Affairs has been considering an updated policy to allow advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) working in the VHA to practice to the full extent of their education and training. As of Thursday, May 25, this regulation is now live and available for public comment in the Federal Register. You can read the proposal in its entirety here.

Please check back on this website soon as we share ANA's analysis. The VA quoted ANA’s statement of support for granting APRNs full practice authority in their press release. You can read their press release here.

ANA Endorses Hillary Clinton for President in 2016

On March 22, the American Nurses Association President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, announced that Hillary Clinton has received the organization's endorsement for president. This announcement comes after weeks of voting by ANA members, who overwhelmingly supported Secretary Clinton in the endorsement campaign.

Click here to learn more about ANA's endorsement process.