First up in this week’s nursing news is a look at some potential advances in nurse independence for advanced practice nurses and nurse practitioners in the VA medical system. There is now some legislation on the horizon that is expected to greatly expand the capabilities and scope of practice for APRNs in the Veterans Affairs Medical System.

Advanced Practice Nurse Autonomy

nurse practitioner nurse independenceThe upcoming bill would give broader practice authority to VA nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners and potentially certified registered nurse anesthetists. This would even supersede state laws that limit that practice in those federal facilities.

The big sticking point for the bill is the expanded practice for CRNAs, the nurse anesthetists. Significant push back is coming from the physician anesthetist lobby on this who want those nurses removed from the bill. They cite the old tired doctor’s mantra of risks to patient safety despite all scientific evidence to the contrary. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, the AANA obviously disagrees with that assessment.

If this bill does get passed and passes the Senate version as well, it could be a huge step forward for advanced practice nurse independence in the 29 states where they are limited in their practice autonomy. The VA medical system has been under fire recently for major delays in getting treatment for veterans in the system.

Adding advanced practice nurses working autonomously in all states would go a long way to easing some of the backlog for the patients. I’ll stay on top of this article in the weeks to come and let you know of things as they change for APRNs in the VA system.

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Prescription Compound Pain Creme Overdoses and Episode 362.

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