In an effort to ensure access to timely, quality healthcare for America’s veterans, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has published a proposed rule in the May 25 Federal Register that allows certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) and other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to provide patient care to the full extent of their education and abilities.
The policy change would define Full Practice Authority in VHA facilities for CRNAs, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse midwives. Its definition of Full Practice Authority means that APRNs working within the scope of Department of Veterans Affairs employment would be authorized to practice as described in the law “without the clinical oversight of a physician, regardless of state or local law restrictions on that authority.”
The proposal is supported by more than 60 organizations and 80 Democratic and Republican members of Congress.
The proposed rule was backed by the results of an independent congressionally ordered assessment of the VHA health system published in 2015. The researchers recommended that allowing CRNAs and other APRNs to practice to the full extent of their education and abilities would increase veterans’ access to care, reduce wait times, and save money.
Immediately upon publication in the Federal Register, a 60-day comment period commenced during which interested parties can communicate with the VHA about the rule.
This article was adapted from information provided by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.