May 27, 2016

VA One Step Closer to Allowing APRNs Full Practice Authority

Why can’t nurses be allowed to provide more care to veterans? That is what the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has asked for a while now. Back in January, the VA sent its proposal to the Office of Management and Budget. The VA’s big idea: to change regulations so that advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in VA facilities were authorized to provide health care services to the full extent of their education and training.

Good news for veterans who would then have more options for care: On May 25, the proposal was listed in the Federal Register, where for 60 days it will be open for public comment. It’s important that people weigh in: Come July 25, the Veterans Health Administration will review all comments and make a final decision.

In its proposal, the VA cited the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 report on the future of nursing as providing clear support for the change. As the VA wrote, this would “increase veterans’ access to VA health care by expanding the pool of qualified health care professionals who are authorized to provide primary health care and other related health care services.”

Read the full proposal here, then speak up! Let the decision-makers hear from you.