I support Full Practice Authority for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) in Virginia.
Right now in Virginia, nurses can only operate under the supervision of, or in paid consultation with, a doctor.
APRN’s are nurses with many years of experience, at least a Master’s degree, certifications, and approval by the Board of Nursing. Many studies have shown that Nurse Practitioners (a subset of APRN’s) provide high quality care matching that of doctors, generally at a lower cost. Full Practice Authority is allowed in over 20 states, and supported by the National Governor’s Association.
Nurses are absolutely critical to health care, as any one who’s been hospitalized will attest. In a health care system that has become industrialized, institutionalized, and corporate, nurses provide a human link between patients and their care. They’re far more than just employees or helpers. They’re dedicated professionals, trained and specialized in medicine, who not only provide care to patients, but educate them, and manage the connection to the other care they receive.
We need to reduce the barriers to entry and practice for nurses, while promoting higher education for nurses at all levels. Nurses are the ones that keep us from feeling lost when we need health care, and it’s important that we help them own their work and reach their full potential, so they don’t get lost in a health care industry that is driven by external financial concerns.