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October 23, 2020 07:00pm
By Sara Karlovitch, Assistant Editor
Veterans can wait 30 days or longer to be seen in Veterans Affairs facilities.
In the United States, there are more than 530,000 veterans who wait 30 days or more to receive care from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), according to apress releasefrom the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).
This past Veterans Day, both the AANP and the grassroots coalition Veterans Deserve Care, which is committed to reducing wait times in Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities, are urging the VA to enact a proposal that would help ensure timely health care access to veterans in these facilities.
The VA has proposed grantingveteransfull and direct access to more than 4800 NPs working in the VHA, which would allow NPs to practice to the full scope of their education and clinical training, the AANP release stated.
“We can all agree that veterans have waited long enough to get the health care they deserve,” said CMSgt Robert L. Frank, USAF (ret.) chief officer of the Air Force Sergeants Association, in the press release. “Before our new President takes office, we call on the VA to enact the proposed rule.”
As of today, there are 21 states and the District of Columbia that grant NPs full practice authority.
“For more than 50 years, nurse practitioners have proudly treated our men and women in uniform, ensuring them the high-quality health care they deserve,” said Dr Cindy Cooke, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP, president of AANP. “We must embrace new approaches to address the challenges facing the current system. The proposed rule is a zero-cost, zero-risk solution to strengthening health care access and will provide much needed relief for our veterans waiting for care.”