40 Nursing Groups Show Support for Veterans Health Administration Plans to Empower Nurse Practitioners!

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waveThere is a very positive wave going on to make healthcare a safe, quality experience that is available to all USA citizens!  This is evident in 40 professional nursing organizations’, who belong to the Nursing Community and are showing support for Veterans who need healthcare!

As many of you know, the Institute of Medicine released a report in 2010 called The Future of Nursing:  Leading Change Advancing Health with support by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation.  The primary goal of the report was to make recommendations about improving the safety and quality of healthcare and to ensure that all USA citizens have coverage.  The report concluded with 4 key messages and 8 recommendations, many of which revolve around utilization of the biggest workforce and most trusted profession in healthcare, nurses!

More recently, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) recently took important steps in response to the report in drafting an update to their Nursing Handbook that empowers the VHA’s 6,135 advance-practice registered nurses (APRN)—including nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and clinical-nurse specialists to be Full Practice Partners i.e. to practice independently within the scope of their license, education, and skill set.  In many cases, APRNs offer the same quality of care as physicians, but tend to cost a lot less and often have a more holistic and preventative approach to care.

ea2ded871fb834580ae155324f58345d.jpg_srz_p_185_116_75_22_0.50_1.20_0In a letter to the VHA’s Honorable Eric Shinseki Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Nursing Community represented by 40 of their professional nursing organizations stated,

“We believe this [VHA revised Nursing Handbook] will further facilitate timely delivery of high-quality health care to our nation’s service men and women. APRNs are educated to provide evidence-based care to specific patient populations and are qualified to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions. APRNs practice in a diversity of healthcare settings and are often depended upon by underserved communities as the sole advanced practice clinician.”

The letter was signed by the following organizations:

Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses

American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing

American Academy of NursingAmerican Assembly for Men in Nursing

American Association of Colleges of Nursing

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

American Association of Nurse Practitioners

American College of Nurse-Midwives

American Nurses Association

American Organization of Nurse Executives

American Psychiatric Nurses Association

American Society for Pain Management Nursing

American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses

Association of Community Health Nursing Educators

Association of Nurses in AIDS Care

Association of periOperative Registered Nurses

Association of Public Health Nurses

Association of Veterans Affairs Nurse Anesthetists*

Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S.Public Health Service

Dermatology Nurses’ Association

Emergency Nurses Association

Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association

Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association

Infusion Nurses Society

International Nurses Society on Addictions

International Society of Psychiatric Nurses

National American Arab Nurses Association

National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists

National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

National Association of School Nurses

National Gerontological Nursing Association

National Nursing Centers Consortium

National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing

National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties

Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs

Oncology Nursing Society

Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association

Public Health Nursing Section

American Public Health Association

The Quad Council of Public Health Nursing Organizations

*The Association of Veterans Affairs Nurse Anesthetists supports this initiative but is not a member of the Nursing Community.

This is an exciting, collaborative effort on the part of the IOM, VHA, and the Nursing Community while the move towards utilizing and advancing the nursing workforce is a very positive shift in our nation’s healthcare system!

As a quick aside, please check out the exciting new event to bring back the Art of Nursing to your facility coming this May by Elizabeth Scala!  

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