The U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has proposed a new rule to increase access to health care for veterans by authorizing Full Practice Authority for all Advanced Practiced Registered Nurses (including CRNAs) who work within the within the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) health-care system.
Adopting the rule would allow CRNAs and all APRNs to practice to the full scope of their education and training while also standardizing VHA policy as recognition of the important work we do. More than 900 CRNAs currently provide every type of anesthesia care, as well as chronic pain management services, for our veterans in the VHA.
Unfortunately, the outcome of the proposed rule is far from certain, which is why we need you to take action. The VA opened a 60-day public comment period on May 24. This is your opportunity to have your voice heard!
The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and its coalition partners, including PANA, have long sought this initiative. However, anesthesiologist groups have been pressuring legislators to remove CRNAs from the list of advanced practice registered nurses receiving Full Practice Authority.
This is where you come in. It is critical for the Department of Veterans Affairs to hear from CRNAs like you! Tell the agency you support this change to Full Practice Authority by visiting www.veteransaccesstocare.com and clicking on “Take Action.”
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Derek Reckard is the Federal Political Director for PANA and a resident of Finleyville, Pa. He is currently a practicing CRNA at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).