HB 971 – WE DID IT!

On Thursday, April 4, Governor Youngkin signed HB 971. This legislation reduces the transition to practice requirement for NPs to three years and amends the code to allow an existing practice agreement to continue by following specific procedures if a patient care team physician dies, loses their license or experiences another extenuating circumstance. We’re excited about this legislation and the positive step forward for NPs.

Key points of the legislation are –

  • Experience requirement
    As of July 1, NPs with 3+ years (5,400+ hours) of clinical experience can apply for autonomous practice licensure to practice without a practice agreement. Applications must be received on or after July 1 to qualify under the new regulations. Applications received on June 30 or earlier must show 5+ years of experience. To apply, visit this site.
  • Loss of physician collaborator
    NPs who lose access to a practice agreement with a physician may be authorized to practice under the management of a qualified NP. A qualified NP is defined as an NP who has had autonomous practice licensure in Virginia for at least three years and practices in the same category in which the NP is licensed and certified.

    If an NP loses a physician collaborator, that NP should immediately contact the Board of Nursing to review the process and timeline to continue practicing. The Board of Nursing will consider each situation on a case-by-case basis.
  • NP attestation
    A qualified NP who has taken over a practice agreement can attest on an autonomous practice license application that an NP meets the requirements to practice without a practice agreement.
  • Data collection
    The Department of Health Professions will collect data including number of applicants, year of each NP’s initial APRN license, geographic area, practice setting, patient population and any disciplinary actions against autonomous licensed NPs.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Virginia Board of Nursing at nursebd@dhp.virginia.gov.

We couldn’t have done it without all of you!

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