The Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners (VCNP), the statewide professional organization for all nurse practitioners (NPs) licensed in Virginia, and is a council of the Virginia Nurses Association (VNA) Commission on Professional Practice. The organization of NPs in Virginia began a quarter century ago in the regional or local areas of the state. With the growth in the number of NPs throughout the state, Virginia NPs initially organized to become a Professional Practice Group of the VNA. In 1984, the VCNP became a council of the VNA, and as such has continued to grow in membership and in the services provided to its members. Membership now is over 1,700.
Although there are other specialty NP groups, the VCNP offers an advantage for all NPs in Virginia because of its association with the VNA and the American Nurses Association (ANA) with their broad based membership and the resources available through these relationships.
The goals and purpose of the VCNP include:
- To increase the awareness of and the impact of the role of nurse practitioners on health care and on the professional, educational, and political systems
- To facilitate the advancement of the nurse practitioner role as an integral component of quality health care delivery through public relations, political activism and consultation
- To foster professional and collegial growth through continuing education
- To provide for a communication system for nurse practitioners throughout the state of Virginia
Participation is available through voting or non-voting membership. Nurse practitioners licensed in Virginia, who are current in their dues, are voting members. Non-voting membership is offered to NP students, other advanced practice nurses, and physician assistants.
There are 12 regional councils located in the Southside, Lynchburg, Fredericksburg, Northern Virginia, Peninsula, Piedmont, Tidewater, Southwest, Blue Ridge, Shenandoah, Northern Shenandoah Valley and Richmond areas of the state. The original VCNP consisted of 6 regions, but the growth of NPs into new geographical areas of the state necessitated the formation of 3 new regions during 1998. A 10th region (Fredericksburg) was added in 2000, Peninsula in 2002, and Central split into Southside and Lynchburg in 2014.
The Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners is pleased to provide many benefits to its members including but not limited to:
- Proposing and influencing state and national health policy through legislative action and monitoring of governmental programs and regulations
- Providing for the continuing professional development of nurse practitioners through local meetings and our national conference
- Reduced registration fees at our national conference
- Representing nurse practitioners with professional, community, and governmental groups
- Information on current job opportunities and FREE job posting
- Members only section of the VCNP website, including job postings and other NP issues as well as an up-to-date member directory
The VCNP maintains contact with other professional organizations that support and represent NPs, including the VNA, the State Board of Nursing, the ANA Council of Advanced Practice, the Committee of the Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the American College of Nurse Practitioners and other organizations as indicated. The VCNP maintains communication with its Regional Councils through quarterly meetings, conference calls, on-line communication and other contacts as necessary. The Executive Board of the VCNP consists of the elected State Officers and the Presidents of each Regional Council.
The VCNP and its Regional Councils actively promote the professional education of its members. The annual VCNP conference is planned by a committee which includes a representative from each Regional Council. The VCNP conference is highly successful with attendance of over 450 participants who meet for three days to learn about professional and clinical topics. CEs are awarded which are applicable to national re-certification as an NP.
Nurse practitioner practice has continued to evolve in Virginia through the efforts of NPs working as individuals or through their affiliated organizations to promote changes in NP and healthcare legislation in Virginia. The VCNP and its Regional Councils make a significant contributions in support of state and federal legislation that affects the health care of all Virginians, and works to ensure that NPs are an integral member of the health care team. The VNA, VCNP and the Regional Councils have become aware, active and assertive participants in local, state and federal legislative activities. Efforts are made to include NPs throughout the state by educating and communicating about legislative issues related to the promotion of health care for all Virginians.