2017 looks to be an exciting year for advanced practice nursing! The Veterans Administration set the tone for a major change in health care delivery with their ruling to grant full practice authority to Clinical Nurse Specialists, Nurse Midwives and Nurse Practitioners! See the comments by our own National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) at http://www.nacns.org/docs/HomerStatement161214.pdf and those of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) at http://www.aacn.nche.edu/news/articles/2016/aprns-inclusion-va. This work is not complete though; we must support our CRNA colleagues by responding to the request for comments regarding their inclusion in future rulemaking.
A quick trip down memory lane...Our Roanoke Valley colleagues started this organization in 2010 to advance CNS practice in Virginia. Their initial attempt to change CNS regulation led to some specific advice from our Board of Nursing, but it is the 2008 Consensus Model for APRN Regulation that provides clear guidance in legislative language useful to define and regulate advanced practice nursing. VaCNS has worked collaboratively with our APRN colleagues in Virginia to advance this agenda and support legislative efforts to that end. In the 2016 General Assembly, VaCNS pursued legislation that recognized CNSs as advanced practice nurses; it is now law that we are APRNs! In moving forward, we must know your needs; hence, VaCNS developed a survey regarding the "Opportunities and Barriers to CNS Practice in Virginia" in order to guide our future organizational and legislative agenda. Please complete the survey by January 7, 2017 so we can develop a statewide CNS-generated plan at our Strategic Planning Meeting in late January. You may access our survey at https://redcap.vcu.edu/surveys/?s=JRNWYKLLHF
Lastly, our fiscal year begins January 1st and we seek greater engagement from CNSs across the state through membership. We already enjoy active participation from the Roanoke, Lynchburg and Richmond areas, but are actively recruiting members from Northern Virginia, Charlottesville and Hampton Roads. We want you! Please consider joining our organization and contributing to the future of CNS practice in Virginia (http://www.vacns.org/membership.html). We are stronger when we join together! Our next meeting is January 9th at 5pm; use this conference call line (1-888-826-8195 & access code 6456807) to join the conversation.
In the words of Edgar Albert Guest,
"There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it."
Linda Thurby-Hay, President
Virginia Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists