Today, the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners – along with Del. Roxann Robinson, the patron of HB 793 – generated a huge legislative win that will move nurse practitioners in Virginia closer to obtaining Full Practice Authority.
During the Virginia Senate Education and Health Committee’s reading of HB 793, Del. Robinson introduced a new “substitute” bill that removed many of the overbearing restrictions in the original bill that opponents had wanted to impose on NPs. The substitute was unanimously approved by the committee in a 15-0 vote.
The new substitute bill goes a long way to reduce the restrictions that would have been imposed by the original House subcommittee substitute of HB 793, but it does retain the five-year transition to practice requirement. With this being a top concern for members, VCNP’s Executive Committee, all Regional Presidents, and regional Government Relations chairs, held an emergency conference call Wednesday night to discuss the new substitute bill and to vote on if they wanted Del. Robinson to move forward with it. Nine members of the Executive Committee and 12 Regional Presidents all voted unanimously to move forward with the substitute.
Mark Coles of the Tidewater region noted before the vote: “Virginia is a state where legislative progress is only made incrementally. We might be an outlier with a five-year transition to practice, but there are more than 20 other states around the country that would love to be in the place where we are right now. Full practice authority is within reach.”
It is important for all members to understand that, with the new substitute bill, more than 50 percent of NPs in Virginia have already met the five-year transition to practice requirement. Once the substitute bill is approved by the entire Senate, it will return to the House floor for another vote. Should it pass again and be signed by the Governor, rules will be promulgated by January 1, 2019 and NPs will be eligible to move forward with authority to practice without requirement of a collaborative agreement.
VCNP President Chris Daley noted to everyone on last night’s call that we are pledged to transparency throughout this process. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your Regional President or Government Relations chair. It is the goal of the VCNP Board to ensure that everyone is comfortable with this process.
HB 793 will be voted on by the full Senate in the upcoming days. Please stay tuned for additional details on our progress.