House Bill 971 reduces the transition to practice requirement for nurse practitioners (NPs) in Virginia to three years and amends the code to allow an existing practice agreement to continue by following specific procedures if a patient care team physician dies, loses their license or experiences another extenuating circumstance.

Virginia’s current 5-year transition to practice requirement was passed in 2018 and is the most restrictive in the nation. Since that time, there have been significant changes in health care including increasing physician shortages, a growing aging population and a greater number of patients with chronic diseases.

During the COVID state of emergency and for one year following the 2021 General Assembly session, Virginia’s NPs with two or more years of experience were eligible to practice without a practice agreement, which had no negative repercussions.

More than half the states, the District of Columbia and the Veterans Administration have laws and regulations embracing NPs and allowing for full practice authority. Of the states with transition to practice requirements, most require 2 years. Virginia is the only state with a 5-year requirement.

HB 971 will bring NPs in Virginia closer to national trends and the APRN Consensus model. Reach out to your local legislator and encourage them to vote YES on House Bill 971. The process is simple and takes just a few minutes of your time!

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