Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs released the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Final Rule. We are happy to report the rule will grant veterans direct access to health care provided by nurse practitioners in the VA. The final rule is scheduled for implementation 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The VA anticipates that the final rule will be published December 14, 2016.
As you know, we asked you to submit comments to the Federal Register in support of this rule, speak with your members of Congress on the importance of this rule and write letters to the Secretary of the VA. All told, your voice resonated with the 54,809 messages sent. Truly, the voice of the nurse practitioner was heard loud and clear. We thank you for your ongoing grassroots support of this important issue.
Today, we pledge to continue to work with the VA to ensure that implementation moves forward swiftly in order for our veterans to have direct access to the high quality care NPs provide. As many of you know, we have worked closely with our APRN colleagues to support the VA’s efforts. We also report that while the final rule includes NPs, CNSs, CNMs, it unfortunately excludes CRNAs at this time. We will continue to work to encourage the VA to implement this policy for all APRNs.
Cindy Cooke, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP,