The Veteran Affairs Department has finalized a rule that will allow advanced-practice registered nurses to practice to their full authority at VA facilities, however the new permission will not expand to certified registered nurse anesthetists following lobbying from anesthesiologists.
The VA believes the rule will make it easier for veterans to be seen by medical professionals by increasing the number of available primary-care providers. The new policy is effective Jan. 14, 2017.
“VHA believes that VA does not have immediate and broad access problems in the area of anesthesia care across the full VA health care system that require full practice authority for all CRNAs,” the rule said. The VA will take comments on that decision until Jan. 14, 2017.
In the earlier comment period following the draft rule, the VA received 223,296 comments. Of those, 104,256 comments were against granting full practice authority to VA CRNAs. Another 45,915 comments supported full practice authority without specific mention of CRNAs, and 9,613 comments supported full practice authority for CRNAs.