VANA Legislative Summary

The 2023 Virginia General Assembly began in the middle of January and finished on February 25, 2023. In that short 45-day time period, hundreds of bills were heard. And while VANA monitored all of the bills for impacts on Virginia’s CRNAs, the following outlines those bills we considered of priority interest to our members.

First, VANA started the hard work of modernizing Virginia’s Code through the introduction of HB2287 (Wampler), which changed the word “supervision” to the term “consultation.” VANA’s efforts on the legislation were made more difficult by the introduction of dual bills, SB1342 (Barker) and HB1925 (Hope), which directed the Board of Medicine to develop criteria for the licensure of anesthesiologist assistants. VANA’s membership pushed back hard on the AA initiative; ultimately, neither of the AA bills advanced. As part of the effort, HB2287 was also removed from the docket.

While VANA was pleased the AA legislation did not advance, the language again appeared towards the end of Session in the Senate Health Budget Report. The budget process is different from the bill process. VANA once again engaged to ensure the legislators working on the budget understood the problematic nature of the AA language and the impacts a new anesthesia provider would have on Virginia’s hardworking CRNAs. The legislature has not, as of this writing, finalized a budget, but VANA continues to advocate on behalf of our members in opposition to the inclusion of AAs in the final budget.

On a more positive note, Sen. Peake introduced SB975, a technical bill that changed the term “nurse practitioners” to “advanced practice registered nurses (APRN).” This change in our professional designation was established by the Consensus Model for Advanced Practiced Registered Nurses Regulation and brings Virginia into better alignment with the Consensus Model.

Separately, two other APRN-related initiatives were advanced in the 2023 General Assembly. The first, HB2183, was introduced by Del. Roxanne Robinson. HB2183 sought to remove the requirement that a nurse practitioner must have at least five years of clinical experience to practice without a practice agreement and also sought to remove certain physician relationship requirements. Unfortunately, the bill failed on a 3/3 vote. The second, SB1105 (Boysko), sought to remove APRNs from under the regulatory authority of the Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine and place all regulatory authority under the authority of the Board of Nursing. The bill did not advance.

And lastly, Del. Price introduced HB1658, which would have required the General Assembly to submit bills related to the scope of practice to the relevant health regulatory board for assessment. The bill was ultimately pulled from the docket.

While we had some losses, we made impressive strides in our engagement with legislators, and we thank all of you for writing letters and working to make our voices heard. Please watch your inboxes for further communications as we begin planning for the future.

News, Spring 2023 VANA Newsletter