NURSING IN VIRGINIA
Collaborative Decision Making Through Shared Governance
Please reference Board Meeting at Peninsula Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
NURSING IN VIRGINIA
The nursing practice is a key public health concept. In the United States, there are various authorities and bodies that have varying autonomy in regulating the scope and practice of nursing the country. However, the increase of the authorities that regulate the nursing practice to various levels at state and federal levels ends up creating unnecessary hurdles that can eventually deter the nursing practice. The purpose of the paper is to offer a unique and objective analysis on the undertakings of the Virginia State in enhancing and expanding the scope of advanced nursing practice.
A scholar once noted that one of the surest ways of enhancing efficacy in nursing practice in the United States is to expand the scope of practice for the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) (Day GE & Leggat SG 2015). To this end, the professionals are in a position to fully exercise their professional abilities and competencies. To enhance a greater scope of practice among the nurses, a number of proposals have been made in Virginia. To start with, there is a proposal that the Medicare program should apply to nurses and the doctor equally. To this end, it is necessary to expand it to include advanced registered nurses. Such an approach would be essential in enhancing efficacy in practice among the professional nurses in an out of Virginia.
Though the congress has the mandate of reforming the federal nursing practice laws, there is need to amend the local laws as well. The state of Virginia is among the States that have made significant strides in amending the State Nursing Laws to align with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Model Nursing Practice Act of 2014 (Willis, E. Reynolds, L & Keleher, H 2016).Nurses need to have expansive practice authority. Statistics indicate that in America, on a few states accord nurses full powers in practice even when they are at the (APRN) level. For instance, the States of Vermont, Nebraska, Connecticut, and Maryland have accorded nurses full powers to practice. Such powers include the capacity to assess the patients, diagnosing, and to offer prescriptions. In the State of Virginia, the nurses do not have full powers to practice. A classical example is the fact that the nurses are not legally allowed to sign vital documents.
The lack of full harmonization of the federal laws means that the population in Virginia continues suffering (Sorensen R and Ledema R, 2008). For instance, a case has been reported where an APRN assisted a patient who eventually died. However, the death certificate form was not available for almost three weeks since a nurse could not sign such a form and the doctor was away for a while. Therefore, it is necessary to expand the powers of nurses in the region to save lives and improve the health of the people (Willis, E. Reynolds, L & Keleher, H 2016).
However, it worth noting that the State has moved with speed to expand the scope of practice among the practicing nurses. One of the proposals that came into effect just over a year ago offers a nurse who has had at least three years of experience huge autonomy in handling a patient (“Sorensen R and Ledema R, 2008). On the same note, the APRN are required to apply so that they may have special privileges and powers. Such application is a major legal limitation in the exercise of the freedom of free nursing practice in Virginia.
The nurses (APRN) can diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication to patients on any non-technical undertakings. Even with such freedoms, the Virginia State still limits the full APRNs. For instance, an APRN does not have the capacity to prescribe level III narcotics (Crowther, A (ed) 200). In an area that is largely constituted with small towns, it a huge constrain to health care if a nurse is not accorded the powers to have full practice on what they have already qualified for. Other professional nurses are carrying out the same practice in at least 21 other states and it does not adversely affect the people.
Peer Reviewed Articles
Crowther, A (ed) 2008), Nurse managers, A guide to Practice, 2nd Edn, Ausmed Publications Pty Limited, Melbourne
Day GE & Leggat SG 2015, Leading and Managing Health Care Services; An Australian Perspective, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne
Sorensen R and Ledema R, 2008, Managing Clinical Process in Health Care Services, Elsevier Sydney.
Willis, E. Reynolds, L & Keleher, H 2016, Understanding the Australian Health Care System, 3rd Edn, Elsevier Chatwood NSW