Government Affairs

VANA Government Relations Committee

The Government Relations Committee (GRC), working with the VANA Lobbyist, shall address matters pertaining to legislation and regulations and make recommendations to the Board of Directors.  As well as carrying out the activities of the Association as assigned by the Board of Directors pertaining to legislation, regulations, public policy and removal of barriers to nurse anesthesia practice.  The Chair and committee members will work directly with our lobbyist and will develop a plan to increase CRNA understanding and engagement in advocacy.

Co-Chairs: Cathy Harrison, DNAP, CRNA, MSN & Tom Watters, CRNA


Bill Advanced by VANA Signed into Law

Virginia HB580, Delegate Roxann Robinson (R – 27th Dist.) patron, was signed into law by Governor McAuliffe on March 1st, 2016 and will take effect July 1st. HB580, which was advanced by the Virginia Association of Nurse Anesthetists (VANA), amends and reenacts the Code of Virginia §§54.1-2900 and 54.1-3000 to include the term “Advanced Practice Registered Nurse” (APRN) and define it in the statute as “a registered nurse who has completed an advanced graduate-level education program in a specialty category of nursing and has passed a national certifying examination for that specialty”. This is seen as an important early step in a process meant to clarify the roles of these valuable professionals within the Virginia healthcare arena.

In addition, HB580 defines the terms Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). The CRNA definition found in §54.1-2900, while retaining the supervisory requirement, now includes the statement that a CRNA “is not subject to the practice agreement requirement described in §54.1-2957”. This amendment was necessary to alleviate some unintended consequences of HB346 passed in 2012. HB346, Delegate John O’Bannon (R-73rd Dist.) patron, did improve the statutory environment for Nurse Practitioners (NP) and was supported by the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners. However, that bill’s wording in regard to CRNA’s was vague and left some readers questioning whether Nurse Anesthetists were subject to the same requirement for maintenance of a practice agreement as is mandated for NP’s. HB580 removes the doubt with its clear and concise language.

The VANA leadership would like to acknowledge some of those who made this legislative success possible: VANA President Jan Setnor and her Board of Directors, VANA Government Relations Committee (Co-Chairs Sao Berkowitz and Tom Waters), VANA lobbyist Michele Satterlund and the VANA members who wrote letters, attended discussion groups and lobbied their State Senators and Delegates. Furthermore, thanks are extended to Governor McAuliffe for his efforts to expand access to care and to Delegate Robinson and her fellow legislators who supported this bill. Finally, VANA would like to recognize the Virginia Society of Anesthesiologists for contributing to open dialog and cooperation on this issue.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email Peter DeForest VANA President Elect at To read the bill in its entirety click the following link to HB580:


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