Advocacy Updates

Victory: Veterans & Nurses win Big with VA Rule!

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced an important change: Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) -- including Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) and Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) -- will now have full practice authority within the VA health system!

This is a win for veterans -- as well as the VA nurses who treat them -- and a regulation for which ANA has been advocating strongly for a number of years. This could not have been possible without the support of nurses across the country submitting public comments on this proposal.

Unfortunately, the rule excludes Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), which is solely based on the VA's belief that there is no evidence of a shortage of anesthesiologists impacting access to care. ANA is committed to advancing full practice authority for all four APRN roles, and will continue our advocacy on behalf of CRNAs within the VA health care system.

Read more about the importance of this rule.

The Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2713) Passed in the House

Tonight the House of Representatives considered and passed The Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2713) with overwhelming and bipartisan support. With the 114th Congress drawing to a close, House passage represents critical late progress for these important nurse workforce programs.

We must now turn our advocacy sights toward the U.S. Senate. ANA is readying a final grassroots push to help see this critical legislation to the finish line. The incoming Administration is in many ways an unknown. We must act now to preserve these programs. Again, we encourage you to weigh in with your Representative ahead of the vote, and keep a look out for our final push immediately after Thanksgiving.

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.

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.