Help Ensure Veterans Have Access to APRNs

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Hello Colleagues,

This is a pivotal moment in the history of nursing. As the INA Executive Director, I am asking you to take less than 10 minutes of your time to help us take one GIANT step forward for APRN full practice authority. We need ALL nurses to help us.

I know that you may have already received many nag-o-grams urging you to post a comment in favor of full practice authority for APRNs in the VA (AP44 – Proposed Rule – Advanced Practice Registered Nurses). So far, there are about 31,000 comments. I realize that sounds like a lot but there are probably around 250,000 APRNs nationally 3.6 million nurses and not all 31,000 are comments from APRNs and supportive RNs.

The part that is most concerning is that there are many negative comments from veterans speaking against the proposal. The main concern expressed among the veterans’ comments is that the quality of the care will suffer if APRNs are primary caregivers for veterans. This point of view has been perpetuated in the media by news reports that refer to the proposal as "Nurses Taking the Place of Doctors", veterans having to “settle for” APRNs as their primary care provider and other comments that imply that veterans will be cared for by what they perceive as lower quality, less trained providers. Opponents are also claiming that there is no "access" problem in the VA and that if the VA wants to use APRNs as primary staff, the decision should be left to the individual VA sites.

It is IMPERATIVE that you take a few moments to post on one of the many websites that are set up to make it easy for you to write and submit a comment. Here is ANA’s comment form. State the fact that the care provided by APRNs is of high quality, as evidenced by research, and that the full practice authority should be enacted across the entire system and not left up to the discretion of individual hospital administrators.

Even more important, it is critical that the VA hear from VETERANS who have a more positive opinion of the care that they have experienced from APRNs.

PLEASE, if you have not posted a comment yet, do so ASAP and also encourage any veterans in your professional and personal networks to do the same.

Thank you for taking the time to read and act on this CALL TO ACTION

- Robin Schaeffer, MSN, RN, CAE
INA Executive Director