What Can I Do?
Write to your
Members of Congress
Urge Congress to support nurses in the VA
Tell your friends, families and colleagues to take action today!
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.
Ensuring Veterans’ Access to Care
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has now finished their internal review of the comments regarding a proposed rule that would provide full practice authority for APRNs working in the Veterans Health Administration. Information about the content of the rule (including changes from the rule as proposed), and how the VA has responded to the comments submitted, is yet to be released.
On September 28, 2016, the final rule was submitted for review to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). ORIA has up to 90 days to review the rule. This period can be extended. Following OMB/OIRA review, the rule may be published in the Federal Register or returned to VA for further work.
Please check back on this website soon as OMB announces additional decisions on this process.
The nursing community helped break records in expressing support for this proposed rule. The VA received an extraordinary number of comments -- more than 177,000 in the docket as of this writing -- during the public comment period, which ended July 25. Prominent groups, including the Federal Trade Commission, AARP, the American Hospital Association, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, all joined ANA in expressing support for the rule.
Working with our partner organizations as part of the Veterans Access to Quality Healthcare Alliance, ANA rallied nurses and other stakeholders to participate in a social media campaign, which reached more than 300,000 people and drove a significant amount of traffic to the VA comment site. Additionally, ANA co-hosted a press conference, published a Huffington Post blog, and submitted letters to the editor that were published in The Washington Post and USA Today in support of veterans’ access to timely, quality health care.
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.
- Letter from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to Secretary McDonald (7/2016)
- In The Washington Post: Proposed VA rule is about providing better care to veterans (7/2016)
- 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)