The Veteran's Health Administration (VA) is requesting comments on a regulatory proposal which would permit full practice authority of all VA advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) when they are acting within the scope of their VA employment. This is not just an issue for APRNs. It is not just an issue for psychiatric-mental health nurses. It is an issue for all of nursing. We all need to speak out to help ensure that our Veterans receive safe and effective care from trained professionals.

I have read through the comments submitted thus far and those opposed to this measure have a well-orchestrated campaign to comment against the proposal. Let's not allow our voice to be drowned out by a chorus of naysayers. The most direct way to advocate on this issue is to post your comment on the Federal Register before the deadline of July 25.

Key Points
Here are the salient points of comments submitted by APNA, which you may want to use to guide your own comments.

  • This proposed rule will provide our Veterans with full and direct access to APRNs.
  • It will authorize the VA to allow nurses to work to the full extent of their scope of practice.
  • We must emphasize the need to recognize that within psychiatric-mental health nursing, Clinical Nurse Specialists and Nurse Practitioners have shared scope of practice.

Submit your comments here.
Remember to include in the comments that this is in response to “Proposed Rule RIN 2900-AP44-Advanced Practice Registered Nurses” and note that comments submitted to the Federal Register will be made public, including the name of the individual submitting the comments.

The time to take action is now. Please join your voice to that of your fellow nurses in support of this proposed rule.

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.