VA: Nurse practitioners nationwide no longer need physician supervision
WASHINGTON — To address staffing shortages across the country, the Department of Veterans Affairs will allow thousands of advanced practice nurses nationwide to treat patients without physician supervision.
Starting Jan. 13, certified nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse-midwives at VA hospitals will be authorized to “practice to the full extent of their education … without the clinical supervision or mandatory collaboration of physicians,” the rule states.
David Shulkin, the VA Undersecretary for Health, said the change would free up physicians, alleviating challenges the VA has with getting veterans quick access to medical treatment. But the physician-led American Medical Association said the rule would do away with the team-based care that’s been adopted at the VA and revert it back to an “outdated model” of health care delivery.
The VA started a system-wide effort to hire additional health care providers and speed up veterans’ access to treatment in 2014, when media reports and internal investigations revealed veterans had long waits for care and managers were manipulating wait-time data.
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