Published May 25, 2016
AACN Applauds the VA's Proposal that Supports APRN Practice and Veteran Access to Care
Proposed Rule Allows APRNs to Practice to the Full Extent of Their Education
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 25, 2016 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) applauds the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA) for issuing a proposed rule that would allow Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to practice to the full extent of their education and training within VHA facilities. This landmark action underscores the important role APRNs play in providing safe, high-quality care across all settings. AACN, together with its colleagues in the APRN and nursing community, have been advocating for over three years to move this change forward. With over 8.7 million Veterans seeking care in more than 1,700 VHA care sites each year, full utilization of healthcare providers— including APRNs—is a necessity.
"Supporting APRNs in the VHA to practice to their full scope demonstrates a strong commitment to improving care for those who serve our country," said Dr. Deborah Trautman, AACN's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Academic nursing applauds this visionary step taken by the VHA, and we stand ready to help advance this agenda for the well-being of our nation's Veterans."
AACN's member schools have held long-standing partnerships with the Veteran community. To date, over 660 schools of nursing in all 50 states have pledged to support the national Joining Forces initiative to enhance the preparation of America's nurses to care for Veterans, service members, and their families. The action taken by the VHA will further align practice with education.
AACN will continue to partner with our nursing and Veteran stakeholders to submit supporting statements on this proposed rule. A 60-day public comment period will provide an opportunity to weigh-in on this critical proposal through July 25.
Read the proposed rule.
For more information on AACN's efforts to promote change at the VHA, visit our website.