In December, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released a final rule granting full practice authority to three of the four established Advance Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) roles, effective January 13, 2017.
When acting within the scope of their VA employment, certified nurse practitioners (NPs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) and certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) will now have full practice authority within the VA Health System as a mechanism for extending veterans access to a full range of qualified health professionals. This rule puts veterans’ health first, and will help improve access to the timely, effective and efficient care they have earned.
ANA and WSNA are extremely disappointed, however, that the VA failed to extend full practice authority to Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). We are concerned with the final rule’s exclusion of CRNAs, which is based on the VA’s belief that there is no evidence of a shortage of anesthesiologists impacting access to care. ANA will continue to advocate for CRNAs to be have full practice authority within the VA health care system.
View the final rule at federalregister.gov/d/2016-29950.