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  • CRNA Full Practice Authority to be Recognized by Veterans Affairs

    Today the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee put our nation’s Veterans first and recognized the need for CRNA services. On a bipartisan basis, the committee acted to allow the Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA) to promote Veterans’ access to quality healthcare provided by all advanced practice registered nurses, including CRNAs.

    The committee passed two provisions from the ‘Frontlines to Lifelines Act’ (S 297, Kirk, R-IL) as part of a broader bill – and excluded language that would have disrupted the VHA from recognizing CRNAs to their Full Practice Authority. Through this action, the committee is letting the VHA do the job it needs to do to protect and advance Veterans’ access to quality healthcare.

    This important victory for CRNAs came as a result of months of advocacy by the AANA and CRNAs across the country. Through hundreds of meetings with members of Congress and their staffs, thousands of letters to legislators from constituent CRNAs and SRNAs, and the work of your CRNA-PAC, legislators understood the importance of CRNA services and the need for Full Practice Authority for all APRNs. Thank you for taking action and having your voice heard.

    This achievement is a milestone, but not the end of our work. Recent testimony before Congress has underscored that Veteran wait times for healthcare are increasing. More Veterans are seeking healthcare through VHA. The bill the Committee passed (S 1203) now goes to the full Senate. And the VHA must publish its Full Practice Authority rule, and we must support it through the public comment process. Letting CRNAs and other APRNs serve to their Full Practice Authority is a common-sense solution to our Veterans problem of access to care that cannot wait any longer.

    We must continue to educate members of Congress and the VHA on the value of CRNAs, turn aside attacks by opposing interests, and remain steadfast in promoting and protecting access to nurse anesthesia care for our nation’s Veterans. Please stay tuned for future updates as we continue our work on this important issue and visit www.crna-pac.com for information on how you can write your legislators today.

    This is a huge win for Veterans as well as CRNAs across the nation but it is just one portion. Soon the AANA will call upon you to help to finish this issue. Be ready! CRNAs will be needed to assist the AANA in this endeavor!