Nursing’s Public Policy Platform
1. Increase protection from violence against health professionals in the workplace
While legislation passed during the 2017 session sought to protect health
professionals from physical assault, it did not address issues of verbal threats
of injury or death. Workplace violence is a serious and ongoing issue for
Virginia's nurses and all healthcare professionals. VNA supports legislation to
make it a penalty to verbally threaten a healthcare provider with bodily injury
or death while the individual is engaged in the performance of his or her
2. Ensure that nurse practitioners (NPs) – who provide cost-effective, high-quality healthcare services in diverse settings across the care continuum – are able to bill insurance directly for services.
Since the passage of HB 793 during the 2018 General Assembly provides
NPs with the opportunity to transition to autonomous practice, we now need
to update the Code of Virginia to make sure that NPs can independently and
directly bill insurance for their services.
3. Expand nurse practitioner prescribing privileges to include medical marijuana.
Expand legislation passed by Virginia’s legislature in 2018 enabling
physicians to register with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy in order to issue
written certifications for the use of medical marijuana (cannabidiol oil or THCA
oil) to also include nurse practitioners.
4. Update prescribing of buprenorphine (Suboxone) for addiction treatment regulations to be consistent with recently passed legislation granting a transition to independent practice for nurse practitioners.
Nurse practitioners are newly allowed to prescribe buprenorphine as part of
the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act for opioid overdoses. While
the Act augments nurse practitioners' scope of practice from a federal
standpoint, Virginia is more limiting. Virginia statutory regulations require NPs
who have obtained the SAMHSA waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for
opioid addiction only pursuant to a practice agreement with a waivered MD or
DO physician. Nurse practitioners licensed to work independent of a
physician practice should be provided the same prescriptive authority.
5. Support legislative solutions that create and sustain conditions that support the health and well-being of all Virginians.
Every Virginian deserves the opportunity to live in a state of well-being and
have access to safe and affordable healthcare. To ensure the optimal
health of our citizens and communities, we must ensure that wellness is
factored into decisions related to education, employment, housing,
transportation, land use, economic, development, and public safety. We
must work alongside community and government partners to support
legislative solutions that promote a culture of health and tackle the population
health issues highlighted in Virginia's Well-being Plan, and support the
establishment of a Commission on Wellness and Opportunity to help facilitate
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