September 10, 2013
ASA Responds to VHA Nursing Handbook and APRN Independent Practice Policy
On September 9, 2013, ASA President-Elect Jane C.K. Fitch, M.D. spoke with five media outlets via teleconference regarding concerns with the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) release of the final draft of its Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Independent Practice Policy found within its Nursing Handbook.
Dr. Fitch outlined ASA’s extreme disappointment with the final draft of this important policy document and its potential impact on patient safety. Specific points covered were:
• ASA’s attempts to reach VHA and provide policy input.
• Changes outlined in the policy which ASA considers to be a dangerous shift in federal policy.
• A dramatic departure from the current procedures in effect through VHA’s Anesthesia Service Handbook.
During the teleconference, Dr. Fitch also discussed the important role of the team-based model of anesthesia care and the peer-reviewed literature that documents the vulnerable health status of VHA patients. She highlighted her experience as a former nurse anesthetist and her unique perspective on the difference in education and training between nurse anesthetists and physician anesthesiologists.
“Proposed VA Nursing Rule Riles Anesthesiologists,” MedPage Today, September 9, 2013.
For more information, please read the complete summary of the teleconference.