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ENA Applauds VA’s Final Rule Granting Veterans Direct Access to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

December 15, 2016 News
DES PLAINES, Ill., The Emergency Nurses Association’s (ENA) applauds the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for amending its health care regulations to permit full practice authority to three types of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) when they are working in a VA facility. This includes clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives.

The final rule establishes the professional qualifications an individual must possess to be appointed as an APRN within VA, establishes the criteria under which VA may grant full practice authority to an APRN and defines the scope of full practice authority for each of the three types of APRNs.

This rule is consistent with ENA’s position that APRN’s have the abilities, knowledge, and specialized skills to meet the needs of patients and their families at the point of crisis or need. By supporting APRNs in their full scope of practice, the VA is making optimal use of these critical members of the health care workforce across the entire care continuum.

Although included as a part of the proposed rule in May, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists were not included in VA's final rule providing full practice authority to other APRNs. The final rule is effective January 13, 2017.

Working to promote safe practice and safe care.