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Veterans Gain Better Access to Care: Nurse Practitioners Applaud VA's Rule

Washington, D.C. -- Dr. Cindy Cooke, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP, President of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a final rule granting veterans direct access to care by Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) who work in the VA health system:

"This final rule is a critical step for America's veterans to be able to obtain timely, high quality care in the Veterans Health System. We are pleased the VA will move forward with allowing veterans throughout the country to have direct access to nurse practitioner provided health care.

An unprecedented number of Americans including veterans, their families and caregivers responded to the VA's request for comments, and we are pleased that their voices were heard.

America's nurse practitioners are honored to continue to serve our nation's veterans by providing them with direct access to the high-quality health care they deserve. We trust that in the near future, the VA will propose a plan to include Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) in this provision.

We look forward to working with the incoming Trump Administration to ensure full implementation of this rule. With 4,800 nurse practitioners currently working in VA facilities nationwide, this is a zero cost, zero risk solution and a significantly positive step to strengthening care for those who served our nation.”

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of more than 222,000 NPs, including more than 70,000 individual members and 200 organizations, providing a unified networking platform and advocating for their role as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered and personalized health care. The organization provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NP patients and other health care consumers.

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