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Nursing's Public Policy Platform
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Nursing’s Public Policy Platform

1.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.

2.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 THC-A oil) to also include nurse practitioners.

3.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 (Suboxone) 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 buprenorphine prescriptive authority as physicians.

4.Ensure title protection for "Nurse" in the Code of Virginia. While the Code of Virginia currently protects usage of the title "registered nurse," "licensed practical nurse," "certified nurse aide," "nurse practitioner," and others based on a minimum level of education and training, anyone can use the title nurse. The Commonwealth of Virginia should ensure that only those individuals who are trained and educated as a nurse are able to use the title.

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 for a Healthy Virginia to help facilitate this work.


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