HB 793: Eliminate Outdated State Nurse Practitioner Statutes

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HB 793 (Robinson) Eliminate Outdated State Nurse Practitioner Statutes 
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Virginia patients face major changes and challenges today and in the coming years. Thankfully, nurse practitioners (NPs) are ready, willing, able – and nationally certified – to expand access to health care statewide.

HB 793 would institute a transition to practice* period for NPs, an important step towards achieving full practice authority. Elected officials have the opportunity to ensure more people can access quality care by modernizing state law and allowing these highly-trained professionals to serve patients to their fullest potential.

Why is this legislation important?

Patients come first. Over the past 40 years, every major study on NP care – more than 100 – showed that nurse practitioners’ patient health outcomes meet or exceed the results from other providers. NPs choose a population focus earlier in their education, and NP philosophy guides them to take a holistic approach, looking and listening to the entire patient.

Virginians need more primary care. The shortage of primary care providers already impacts Virginia residents in both underserved rural and urban areas. More than 80% of all NPs are certified to provide primary care. We must act quickly to ensure the people of Virginia can depend on access to quality health care in the years to come.

Nurse practitioners serve rural communities. Current regulations limit access to care for rural Virginia. Nurse practitioners are twice as likely as physicians to serve in rural communities, and NPs in states with full practice authority are more likely to practice in rural areas compared to states without it. 

It saves money. Outdated regulations put red tape between nurse practitioners and patients.  Free market advocates support full practice authority for nurse practitioners because increased competition in health care is good for both patients and consumers. Unlike other proposals to expand access to care, full practice authority will not cost taxpayers a dime.

Experience and experts agree. 22 states, and Washington, D.C. and the Veterans Health Administration, have already adopted full practice authority. The Institute of Medicine, AARP, the National Governor’s Association, the Federal Trade Commission, and the National Conference of State Legislatures have all endorsed the policy.

Patient-centered care will remain strong. Patients are most healthy when they can access the health care system easily and affordably. Nurse practitioners are trained to work as part of a health care team. Just as physicians need no mandate to refer patients to a specialist, NPs work with other health care professionals any time it benefits the health of a patient.

For more information, visit careforva.com

*1,040 hours of practice as an NP. NPs that have already completed those hours will be considered to have already completed the requirement