Virgina Board of Nursing: To All Board of Nursing Licensees
On March 12, 2020, Governor Northam issued Executive Order No. 51 declaring a state of emergency for the Commonwealth due to the novel COVID-19. In response to that Order, on March 19, 2020, Dr. David Brown, Director of the Department of Health Professions, waived certain Board of Nursing regulations with the goal of removing certain regulatory barriers to assist with education, testing, practice and workforce issues.
Information regarding these waivers is located here.
VNA Legislative Update: Adjournment
This was a very successful year for the VNA’s legislative agenda! All major priorities were approved by the General Assembly whether in legislation or the budget.
The 2020 Legislative Session of the Virginia General Assembly is coming to a slow close. The scheduled adjournment of session was Saturday, March 7th at midnight, when all bills not acted upon would have died. The assembly voted to extend the session, mandating all bills in conference be acted upon no later than Sunday, March 8, and the budget will be acted upon on Thursday, March 12. Tensions were high between legislators as they reached this deal due to high profile issues between the two chambers. All in all, the General Assembly passed roughly 57%, 2203out of 3899, bills introduced.
General Legislation Passed
There was legislation related to many different issues that passed the General Assembly. Both chambers approved legislation that, if signed by Gov. Ralph Northam, will legalize casino gaming and sports betting, raise the minimum wage, give localities the option of collective bargaining with public employees, decriminalize marijuana and give counties equal authority as cities and towns to tax cigarettes, meals, lodging and admissions. A sweeping transportation funding package that the Governor proposed was also adopted. The General Assembly passed for the second time a resolution adding a constitutional amendment for a nonpartisan redistricting commission. This amendment will now be on the ballot in November for approval by Virginia voters.
The Governor will now begin reviewing the vast amount of legislation and will begin consideration of whether to sign, veto, or amend legislation. The General Assembly will come back on April 22 to consider the Governor’s actions and decide what to do during the reconvened session.
VNA Legislation Updates
We are excited to announce that General Assembly approved both VNA-sponsored budget amendments that provided funding for the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to create and administer a grant program for nursing preceptors.
Details of the legislation:
- VDH will collaborate with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the Virginia Nurses Association, the Virginia Healthcare & Hospital Association, and other relevant stakeholders on an advanced practice nursing student preceptor grant program.
- The program will offer a $1,000 incentive for any Virginia licensed physician, physician's assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who, in conjunction with a licensed and accredited Virginia public or private not-for-profit school of nursing, provides a clinical education rotation of 250 hours, and which is certified as having been completed by the school.
- The amount of the incentive may be adjusted based on the actual number of hours completed during the clinical education rotation. The program shall seek to reduce the shortage of APRN clinical education opportunities and establish new preceptor rotations for advanced practice nursing students, especially in high demand fields such as psychiatry.
The General Assembly increased the practice authority for advanced practice registered nurses. This year the legislature passed HB 1509 and SB 264 which authorizes certified registered nurse anesthetists to prescribe Schedule II through Schedule VI controlled substances and devices, provided such prescribing is in accordance with requirements for practice by certified registered nurse anesthetists.
Additionally, VNA successfully supported HB1057. This bill prohibits health insurers and health service plan providers whose policies or contracts cover services that may be legally performed by a licensed clinical nurse specialist from denying reimbursement because the service is rendered by a licensed clinical nurse specialist. The measure removes the existing limitation that requires such reimbursement only to licensed clinical nurse specialists who render mental health services.
VNA also supported the successful HB 688. This bill requires the VDH to approve one or more entities to certify community health workers in the commonwealth and prohibits a person from using or assuming the title of certified community health worker unless he is certified by a credentialing entity approved by VDH and submits an application to VDH with evidence of such certification. The bill defines the terms "certified community health worker" and "community health worker."
The Association further supported Delegate Adams’ legislation creating The Commission on Wellness and Opportunity, which passed. This legislation creates a 21-member Commission on Wellness and Opportunity in the legislative branch to study and make recommendations relating to establishing the mission and vision of what health and wellness means for Virginia by examining various dimensions of health and wellness, including but not limited to physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, environmental, and social wellness, and utilizing the comprehensive theoretical framework of ""the social determinants of health""; identifying and defining measurable opportunities and outcomes that build community competence around well-being; and making policy recommendations for improving the quality of life for the people of the Commonwealth. The Commission will meet at least quarterly.
Finally, VNA supported HB 1090, which passed.This bill provides that the Board of Health's regulations for the immunization of school children will be consistent with the immunization schedule developed and published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
You can view all the legislation that the VNA tracked this session using the link below.
VNA TRACKING DOCUMENT