WHAT IS A NURSE PRACTITIONER?
Nurse Practitioners (NPs), also called Certified Nurse Practitioners (CNPs) or Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), have master’s degrees or doctorates and are nationally certified in their specialty areas. Just a few of the many services offered by NPs include performing and interpreting diagnostic tests; diagnosing and treating acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and injuries; prescribing medications and other treatments; and managing patient care. Over 100 studies have proven that NPs provide safe, high-quality, cost-effective health care.
ABOUT HOUSE BILL 1737
During the 2021 General Assembly session, and with the support of Del. Dawn Adams, the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners is introducing HB 1737. This bill reduces from five to two the number of years of clinical experience an NP must have to be eligible to practice without a written or electronic practice agreement. Please reach out today to members of the Senate Education and Health committee and the House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee to ask for their support of HB 1737.
LOWER BARRIERS TO PRACTICE = A BRIGHTER TOMORROW
Virginia’s current collaborative requirement ties our state’s capacity to use NPs to meet health care needs to the supply and availability of the physician workforce. This needlessly restricts the number of NPs who could otherwise evaluate, diagnose and treat patients and creates unnecessary geographic maldistribution of services and delays in care.
On April 17, 2020, Governor Northam issued Executive Order 57, which allowed NPs with at least two years of full-time clinical experience to practice autonomously until the end of the public health emergency.
Since April when EO 57 was enacted, there has been no negative impact on patient safety, and access to care has been improved. Making EO 57’s regulations permanent allow NPs to remain in Virginia (rather than moving out of state for work) and provide primary and specialty care, especially in underserved areas where the only local practice may have closed or significantly reduced hours.
Write, call, or visit your legislator and ask them to support NPs by voting YES on House Bill 1737.