VA issues new rule granting NPs full practice authority serving veterans in the VA system
In a previous Healthcare Insider blog we discussed how Pennsylvania has one of the largest populations of veterans in the U.S. — approximately 939,069 — and the growing need of healthcare providers to care for this population.
To meet this need across the nation, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), with the support of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), proposed a rule change back in May of 2016 that would allow nurse practitioners full practice authority within the VA system.
As of January 13, 2017, the rule has been changed. Now, nurse practitioners can practice to the full extent of their education — rather than being required to only work in collaboration with or under the supervision of a physician — and veterans can celebrate direct access to nurse practitioners working in the VA system nationwide!
“This rulemaking increases veterans’ access to VA healthcare by expanding the pool of qualified healthcare professionals who are authorized to provide primary healthcare and other related healthcare services to the full extent of their education, training, and certification, without the clinical supervision of physicians,” said the VA in a statement announcing the rule change.
There are over 5,400 nurse practitioners working for the VA — making it the largest employer of NPs in the country — who can now practice to the full extent of their knowledge and help serve the millions of veterans in this country awaiting care.
“The people who serve our country in uniform deserve access to the highest quality healthcare our country can provide. We applaud the Veterans Health Administration for its decision to allow our veterans direct access to nurse practitioners,” said Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners President Lorraine Bock in a press release.