VHA Nursing Handbook Supporting Documents

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ASA Member Toolkit for Congressional Meetings (members only)

Important Supporting Documents on the VHA Nursing Handbook Issue:

Letters From Veterans Organizations to VA on the VHA Nursing Handbook Issue:

Congressional Action: 

Congressional Sign-On Letter urging VA Secretary McDonald and Under Secretary for Health Shulkin to preserve VA's current policies included in the VHA Anesthesia Service Handbook.

Cromnibus Language: ASA-supported Report Language that passed Congress in the “Cromnibus” appropriations bill. Similar language has been included in the current funding bills being considered in Congress.

H.R. 1247 "one-pager": The Improving Veterans Access to Quality Care Act of 2015” would codify draft policy advanced in the proposed “VHA Nursing Handbook”. This AANA-supported bill abandons the proven model of team-based anesthesia care of physician anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists working together.  ASA requests lawmakers withhold support from H.R. 1247 until the troubling patient safety concerns can be rectified and the proposed VHA Nursing Handbook can be modified.  

S. 297:  The “Frontlines to Lifelines Act,” is a bipartisan bill that would, among other provisions, allow the “independent” practice of certain Advance Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  S. 297 includes provisions to allow “independent” practice for certain nurses, including Nurse Midwives, Clinical Nurse Specialists for mental health and Nurse Practitioners within the VA health system.  This bill does not include nurse anesthetists.   ASA is pleased that S. 297 appropriately excludes nurse anesthetists.  In July 2015, AANA failed to advance modified provisions of S.297, directing VA to abandon team-based anesthesia and authorize a nurse-only model of anesthesia care.

ASA Health Policy Research Studies:

For any other documents or materials, please contact Amanda Ott in the ASA Advocacy Division in Washington, D.C. at (202) 289-2222.