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What Can I Do?

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Urge Congress to pass H.R. 1247

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About the Issue

Veterans who have served our country deserve quality, safe and effective health care. Limiting APRNs practice in the Veterans Health Administration puts our veterans at risk due to backlogs and waitlists for receiving treatment.

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Background:

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), a component of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been considering an updated policy that would allow advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) working in the VHA to practice to their Full Practice Authority.

Status of the proposed regulation:

On January 8, 2016, the draft regulation to implement this policy was sent for review to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) OMB clearance is a crucial step that allows a proposed rule to be opened for public comment in the Federal Register.

On Thursday, May 25, this proposed rule is available for public comment in the Federal Register. You can read the proposal in its entirety here.

What can you do?

ANA supports granting APRNs full practice authority, and the VA cited ANA’s statement of support in their press release. You can read the full press release here.

The 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule will end on or about July 24, 2016. All ANA supporters have a part to play in ensuring that the VA receives an overwhelming show of support for this proposed rule.

Please check back on this website soon as we share ANA's analysis, and provide ways for you to share your public comment. Commenting on this rule will provide an opportunity for the nursing community to weigh in on this important issue.

Additionally, please urge your members of Congress to support H.R. 1247, the Improving Veterans Access to Quality Care Act and S. 2279, the Veterans Health Care Staffing Improvement Act. Both of these bills are consistent with the Institute of Medicine report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, which recommends that APRNs working in the VHA practice to the full extent of their education and training.

 

Resources

Fact Sheet — Veterans Access to Quality Care Act

Veterans Access to Quality Healthcare Alliance

ANA Press Release

Letter to Senator Merkley from the Nursing Community (10/2015)

Letter to Reps. Graves and Schakowsky from the Nursing Community (3/2015)

WSJ Article: At VHA, Doctors, Nurses Clash on Oversight (1/2014)

Letter of Support from the Nursing Caucus for VHA Handbook (11/2013)