AAFP position on APRN

Attached Files:

This is the  AAFP general position on nurse practitioner: https://www.aafp.org/about/policies/all/nurse-practitioners.html.  Please read the attached file and the AAFP general position on NP practice.  Write a one page response to the AAFP’s general position statement and AAFP view on VA ARNP practice proposal.  Write the way as if you are writing back to the author at AAFP about your view on this issue.  Submit your letter here.   

July 22, 2016

David J. Shulkin, MD

Under Secretary for Health

Department of Veterans Affairs

810 Vermont Ave. NW, Room 1068

Washington, DC 20420

Re: RIN 2900–AP44-Advanced Practice Registered Nurses; Proposed Rule (May 25, 2016)

The undersigned physician organizations representing national specialty and state medical societies are

writing to provide comments on the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) Advanced Practice

Registered Nurses (APRNs) Proposed Rule which, if finalized, would permit all VHA-employed APRNs to

practice without the clinical supervision of physicians and without regard to state law.

Nurses are an integral part of physician-led health care teams that deliver high quality care to patients.

They are often the first and last person to interact with a patient during an episode of care, and, in the case

of APRNs, they are well equipped to play advanced roles in the health care team. However, APRNs are no

substitute for physicians in diagnosing complex medical conditions, developing treatment plans that take

into account patients’ wishes and limited health care resources, and ensuring that the treatment plan is

followed by all members of the health care team. Nowhere is this more important than in the VHA, which

delivers highly complex medical care to disabled veterans, including those with traumatic brain injuries and

other serious medical and mental health issues. Our nation’s veterans deserve high quality health care that

is overseen by physicians. For the reasons below, the undersigned organizations strongly oppose the

Proposed Rule and urge the VHA to consider policy alternatives that prioritize team-based care

rather than independent nursing practice.

Education and Training Matter

The key difference between medical and nursing education and training is the fact that medical students

spend four years focusing on the entire human body and all of its systems—organ, endocrine, biomedical,

and more—before undertaking three to seven years of residency training to further develop and refine their

ability to safely evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage a patient’s full range of medical conditions and

needs. And, by gradually allowing residents to practice those skills with greater independence, residency

training prepares physicians for the independent practice of medicine. Combined, medical school and

residency training total more than 10,000 hours of clinical education and training.

In contrast, a nurse generally must complete either a two- or three-year masters or doctoral degree program

to become an APRN. While all baccalaureate nursing programs require a minimum 800 hours of patient