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Association of Southeast Minnesota Nurse Practitioners

Encourage the VA to Support Full Practice for ALL APRNs

Posted almost 2 years ago by Marci Newcome

Dear Fellow NPs,
The Veteran's Administration (VA) has been seeking feedback from Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) since Spring regarding Full Practice Authority for APRNs practicing in the VA system. This unique system would allow APRNs to practice to the full extent of their licensure regardless of individual state practice acts. The VA plans to publish their final rule on the subject December 14, 2016.

Reading the press release is encouraging for three roles of APRNs. Nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists are granted full practice authority under the final rule. Unfortunately, our CRNA colleagues were not granted the same privileges as we were. In 2014, when Minnesota APRNs were granted independent practice, it was with the insistence by our state organizations that we would have this privilege only if our CRNA colleagues did as well.

The VA has described two main arguments against allowing full practice for CRNAs. "The main argument against the CRNAs was that by granting CRNAs full practice authority, the VA would be eliminating the team based concept of care in anesthesia." For all of us in healthcare, we know that this is simply not true. Second, the VA proposes that there is “no shortage of physician anesthesiologists in VA." That sounds great for 2016 but what about 2020?

The VA is seeking feedback on the ruling and I highly encourage all ASMNP members to call or write in support of our CRNA colleagues. By standing with CRNAs, we demonstrate to the VA that we all participate in team based care that involves all members of the healthcare team. Comments may be submitted: through Or, as I recommend, call directly:
David J. Shulkin, M.D., Under Secretary for Health, (202) 461-7000
Linda M. McConnell, Office of Nursing Services, (202) 461-6700
810 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20420.

Read the full Press Release here:

Thank you for your time and support of APRNs.
Natalie F. Mohammad, APRN CNP
ASMNP Legislative Committe Member