Non-Clinical Topics   /   Personnel

VA Expands Practice Authority for Three High-Level Nurse Categories

USM By U.S. Medicine
January 16, 2017

Exclusion of Fourth, CRNAs, Fuels Controversy

By Brenda L. Mooney

Last spring, about 500 nurse anesthetists from around the country converged on the U.S. Capitol to support the plan proposed by the VA to expand veterans’ access to healthcare by allowing broader scope of practice for advanced practice registered nurses, including certified nurse anesthetists.
American Association of Nurse Anesthetist photo by John Wheeler Commercial Photography

WASHINGTON—The VA has granted full practice authority to three roles of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) to practice to the full extent of their education, training and certification, regardless of state restrictions.

 

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Should Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists have been included in the VA's expansion of nursing scope of practice?

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The change, which affects certified nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse midwives who are acting within the scope of their VA employment, was expected after an announcement earlier this year and months of Federal Register comment periods, attracting more than 100,000 responses.

What was less expected—and has produced substantial controversy—

is the VA’s decision to exclude Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) from the expansion of practice.


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