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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

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Action:
Conforming to 2021 legislation
Stage: Final
 
18VAC90-30-10 Definitions

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Approved program" means a nurse practitioner education program that is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs/Schools, American College of Nurse Midwives, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or is offered by a school of nursing or jointly offered by a school of medicine and a school of nursing that grant a graduate degree in nursing and that hold a national accreditation acceptable to the boards.

"Autonomous practice" means practice in a category in which a nurse practitioner is certified and licensed without a written or electronic practice agreement with a patient care team physician in accordance with 18VAC90-30-86.

"Boards" means the Virginia Board of Nursing and the Virginia Board of Medicine.

"Certified nurse midwife" means an advanced practice registered nurse who is certified in the specialty of nurse midwifery and who is jointly licensed by the Boards of Medicine and Nursing as a nurse practitioner pursuant to § 54.1-2957 of the Code of Virginia.

"Certified registered nurse anesthetist" means an advanced practice registered nurse who is certified in the specialty of nurse anesthesia, who is jointly licensed by the Boards of Medicine and Nursing as a nurse practitioner pursuant to § 54.1-2957 of the Code of Virginia, and who practices under the supervision of a doctor of medicine, osteopathy, podiatry, or dentistry but is not subject to the practice agreement requirement described in § 54.1-2957.

"Clinical nurse specialist" means an advanced practice registered nurse who is certified in the specialty of clinical nurse specialist and who is jointly licensed by the Boards of Medicine and Nursing as a nurse practitioner pursuant to § 54.1-2957.

"Collaboration" means the communication and decision-making process among members of a patient care team related to the treatment and care of a patient and includes (i) communication of data and information about the treatment and care of a patient, including exchange of clinical observations and assessments, and (ii) development of an appropriate plan of care, including decisions regarding the health care provided, accessing and assessment of appropriate additional resources or expertise, and arrangement of appropriate referrals, testing, or studies.

"Committee" means the Committee of the Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine.

"Consultation" means the communicating of data and information, exchanging of clinical observations and assessments, accessing and assessing of additional resources and expertise, problem solving, and arranging for referrals, testing, or studies.

"Licensed nurse practitioner" means an advanced practice registered nurse who has met the requirements for licensure as stated in Part II (18VAC90-30-60 et seq.) of this chapter.

"National certifying body" means a national organization that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or deemed acceptable by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and has as one of its purposes the certification of nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, or nurse practitioners, referred to in this chapter as professional certification, and whose certification of such persons by examination is accepted by the committee.

"Patient care team physician" means a person who holds an active, unrestricted license issued by the Virginia Board of Medicine to practice medicine or osteopathic medicine.

"Practice agreement" means a written or electronic statement, jointly developed by the collaborating patient care team physician and the licensed nurse practitioner that describes the procedures to be followed and the acts appropriate to the specialty practice area to be performed by the licensed nurse practitioner in the care and management of patients. The practice agreement also describes the prescriptive authority of the nurse practitioner, if applicable. For a nurse practitioner licensed in the category of certified nurse midwife, the practice agreement is a statement jointly developed with the consulting physician or a certified nurse midwife with at least two years of clinical experience. For a nurse practitioner licensed in the category of clinical nurse specialist, the practice agreement shall be between the nurse practitioner and a consulting physician.

18VAC90-30-70 Categories of licensed nurse practitioners

A. The boards shall license nurse practitioners consistent with their specialty education and certification in the following categories (a two-digit suffix appears on licenses to designate category):

1. Adult/geriatric acute care nurse practitioner (01);

2. Family nurse practitioner (02);

3. Pediatric/primary care nurse practitioner (03);

4. Adult/geriatric primary care nurse practitioner (07);

5. Certified registered nurse anesthetist (08);

6. Certified nurse midwife (09);

7. Neonatal nurse practitioner (13);

8. Women's health nurse practitioner (14);

9. Psychiatric nurse/mental health practitioner (17); and

10. Pediatric/acute care nurse practitioner (18); and

11. Clinical nurse specialist (19).

B. Other categories of licensed nurse practitioners shall be licensed if the Committee of the Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine determines that the category meets the requirements of this chapter.

C. Nurse practitioners licensed prior to January 15, 2016, may:

1. Retain the specialty category in which they were initially licensed; or

2. If the specialty category has been subsequently deleted and if qualified by certification, be issued a license in a specialty category listed in subsection A of this section that is consistent with such certification.

18VAC90-30-86 Autonomous practice for nurse practitioners other than nurse midwives, or certified registered nurse anesthetists, or clinical nurse specialists

A. A nurse practitioner with a current, unrestricted license, other than someone licensed in the category of certified nurse midwife, or certified registered nurse anesthetist, or clinical nurse specialist, may qualify for autonomous practice by completion of the equivalent of five two years of full-time clinical experience as a nurse practitioner until July 1, 2022. Thereafter, the requirement shall be the equivalent of five years of full-time clinical experience to qualify for autonomous practice.

1. Five years of full-time Full-time clinical experience shall be defined as 1,800 hours per year for a total of 9,000 hours.

2. Clinical experience shall be defined as the postgraduate delivery of health care directly to patients pursuant to a practice agreement with a patient care team physician.

B. Qualification for authorization for autonomous practice shall be determined upon submission of a fee as specified in 18VAC90-30-50 and an attestation acceptable to the boards. The attestation shall be signed by the nurse practitioner and the nurse practitioner's patient care team physician stating that:

1. The patient care team physician served as a patient care team physician on a patient care team with the nurse practitioner pursuant to a practice agreement meeting the requirements of this chapter and §§ 54.1-2957 and 54.1-2957.01 of the Code of Virginia;

2. While a party to such practice agreement, the patient care team physician routinely practiced with a patient population and in a practice area included within the category, as specified in 18VAC90-30-70, for which the nurse practitioner was certified and licensed; and

3. The period of time and hours of practice during which the patient care team physician practiced with the nurse practitioner under such a practice agreement.

C. The nurse practitioner may submit attestations from more than one patient care team physician with whom the nurse practitioner practiced during the equivalent of five years of practice, but all attestations shall be submitted to the boards at the same time.

D. If a nurse practitioner is licensed and certified in more than one category as specified in 18VAC90-30-70, a separate fee and attestation that meets the requirements of subsection B of this section shall be submitted for each category. If the hours of practice are applicable to the patient population and in practice areas included within each of the categories of licensure and certification, those hours may be counted toward a second attestation.

E. In the event a patient care team physician has died, become disabled, retired, or relocated to another state, or in the event of any other circumstance that inhibits the ability of the nurse practitioner from obtaining an attestation as specified in subsection B of this section, the nurse practitioner may submit other evidence of meeting the qualifications for autonomous practice along with an attestation signed by the nurse practitioner. Other evidence may include employment records, military service, Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement records, or other similar records that verify full-time clinical practice in the role of a nurse practitioner in the category for which the nurse practitioner is licensed and certified. The burden shall be on the nurse practitioner to provide sufficient evidence to support the nurse practitioner's inability to obtain an attestation from a patient care team physician.

F. A nurse practitioner to whom a license is issued by endorsement may engage in autonomous practice if such application includes an attestation acceptable to the boards that the nurse practitioner has completed the equivalent of five years of full-time clinical experience as specified in subsection A of this section and in accordance with the laws of the state in which the nurse practitioner was previously licensed.

G. A nurse practitioner authorized to practice autonomously shall:

1. Only practice within the scope of the nurse practitioner's clinical and professional training and limits of the nurse practitioner's knowledge and experience and consistent with the applicable standards of care;

2. Consult and collaborate with other health care providers based on the clinical conditions of the patient to whom health care is provided; and

3. Establish a plan for referral of complex medical cases and emergencies to physicians or other appropriate health care providers.

18VAC90-30-87 Autonomous practice for nurse practitioners licensed as certified nurse midwives

A. A certified nurse midwife who has completed 1,000 hours of practice as a certified nurse midwife may practice without a practice agreement upon receipt by the certified nurse midwife of an attestation from a certified nurse midwife who has practiced for at least two years prior to entering into the practice agreement or the licensed physician with whom the certified nurse midwife has entered into a practice agreement stating (i) that such certified nurse midwife or licensed physician has provided consultation to the certified nurse midwife pursuant to a practice agreement meeting the requirements of § 54.1-2957 H of the Code of Virginia, and (ii) the period of time for which such certified nurse midwife or licensed physician practiced in collaboration and consultation with the certified nurse midwife pursuant to the practice agreement.

B. A certified nurse midwife authorized to practice without a practice agreement shall consult and collaborate with and refer patients to such other health care providers as may be appropriate for the care of the patient.

18VAC90-30-120 Practice of licensed nurse practitioners other than certified registered nurse anesthetists, or certified nurse midwives, or clinical nurse specialists

A. A nurse practitioner licensed in a category other than certified registered nurse anesthetist, or certified nurse midwife, or clinical nurse specialist shall be authorized to render care in collaboration and consultation with a licensed patient care team physician as part of a patient care team or if determined by the boards to qualify in accordance with 18VAC90-30-86, authorized to practice autonomously without a practice agreement with a patient care team physician.

B. The practice shall be based on specialty education preparation as an advanced practice registered nurse in accordance with standards of the applicable certifying organization, as identified in 18VAC90-30-90.

C. All nurse practitioners licensed in any category other than certified registered nurse anesthetist, or certified nurse midwife, or clinical nurse specialist shall practice in accordance with a written or electronic practice agreement as defined in 18VAC90-30-10 or in accordance with 18VAC90-30-86.

D. The written or electronic practice agreement shall include provisions for:

1. The periodic review of patient charts or electronic patient records by a patient care team physician and may include provisions for visits to the site where health care is delivered in the manner and at the frequency determined by the patient care team;

2. Appropriate physician input in complex clinical cases and patient emergencies and for referrals; and

3. The nurse practitioner's authority for signatures, certifications, stamps, verifications, affidavits, and endorsements provided it is:

a. In accordance with the specialty license of the nurse practitioner and within the scope of practice of the patient care team physician;

b. Permitted by § 54.1-2957.02 or applicable sections of the Code of Virginia; and

c. Not in conflict with federal law or regulation.

E. The practice agreement shall be maintained by the nurse practitioner and provided to the boards upon request. For nurse practitioners providing care to patients within a hospital or health care system, the practice agreement may be included as part of documents delineating the nurse practitioner's clinical privileges or the electronic or written delineation of duties and responsibilities; however, the nurse practitioner shall be responsible for providing a copy to the boards upon request.

18VAC90-30-123 Practice of nurse practitioners licensed as certified nurse midwives

A. A nurse practitioner licensed in the category of certified nurse midwife who has practiced fewer than 1,000 hours shall practice in consultation with a licensed physician in accordance with a practice agreement between the nurse practitioner and the physician or with a certified nurse midwife who has practiced for at least two years prior to entering into the practice agreement. Such practice agreement shall address the availability of the physician or the certified nurse midwife for routine and urgent consultation on patient care.

B. The practice agreement shall be maintained by the nurse midwife and provided to the boards upon request. For nurse midwives providing care to patients within a hospital or health care system, the practice agreement may be included as part of documents delineating the nurse midwife's clinical privileges or the electronic or written delineation of duties and responsibilities; however, the nurse midwife shall be responsible for providing a copy to the boards upon request.

C. A nurse practitioner licensed in the category of a certified nurse midwife shall practice in accordance with the Standards for the Practice of Midwifery (Revised 2011) defined by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

18VAC90-30-125 Practice of nurse practitioners licensed as clinical nurse specialists

A. Nurse practitioners licensed in the category of clinical nurse specialist shall practice in consultation with a licensed physician in accordance with a practice agreement between the nurse practitioner and the licensed physician.

B. Such practice agreement shall address the availability of the physician for routine and urgent consultation on patient care. Evidence of a practice agreement shall be maintained by a nurse practitioner and provided to the boards upon request.

C. The practice of clinical nurse specialists shall be consistent with the standards of care for the profession and with applicable laws and regulations.

18VAC90-40-10 Definitions

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Acute pain" means pain that occurs within the normal course of a disease or condition or as the result of surgery for which controlled substances containing an opioid may be prescribed for no more than three months.

"Boards" means the Virginia Board of Medicine and the Virginia Board of Nursing.

"Certified nurse midwife" means an advanced practice registered nurse who is certified in the specialty of nurse midwifery and who is jointly licensed by the Boards of Medicine and Nursing as a nurse practitioner pursuant to § 54.1-2957 of the Code of Virginia.

"Chronic pain" means nonmalignant pain that goes beyond the normal course of a disease or condition for which controlled substances containing an opioid may be prescribed for a period greater than three months.

"Clinical nurse specialist" means an advanced practice registered nurse who is certified in the specialty of clinical nurse specialist and who is jointly licensed by the Boards of Medicine and Nursing as a nurse practitioner pursuant to § 54.1-2957.

"Committee" means the Committee of the Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine.

"FDA" means the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"MME" means morphine milligram equivalent.

"Nonprofit health care clinics or programs" means a clinic organized in whole or in part for the delivery of health care services without charge or when a reasonable minimum fee is charged only to cover administrative costs.

"Nurse practitioner" means an advanced practice registered nurse who has met the requirements for licensure as a nurse practitioner as stated in 18VAC90-30.

"Practice agreement" means a written or electronic agreement jointly developed by the patient care team physician and the nurse practitioner for the practice of the nurse practitioner that also describes the prescriptive authority of the nurse practitioner, if applicable. For a nurse practitioner licensed in the category of certified nurse midwife, the practice agreement is a statement jointly developed with the consulting physician or a certified nurse midwife with at least two years of clinical experience. For a nurse practitioner licensed in the category of clinical nurse specialist, the practice agreement shall be between the nurse practitioner and a consulting physician.

"Prescription Monitoring Program" means the electronic system within the Department of Health Professions that monitors the dispensing of certain controlled substances.

"SAMHSA" means the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

18VAC90-40-90 Practice agreement

A. With the exceptions listed in subsection E of this section, a nurse practitioner with prescriptive authority may prescribe only within the scope of the written or electronic practice agreement with a patient care team physician.

B. At any time there are changes in the patient care team physician, authorization to prescribe, or scope of practice, the nurse practitioner shall revise the practice agreement and maintain the revised agreement.

C. The practice agreement shall contain the following:

1. A description of the prescriptive authority of the nurse practitioner within the scope allowed by law and the practice of the nurse practitioner.

2. An authorization for categories of drugs and devices within the requirements of § 54.1-2957.01 of the Code of Virginia.

3. The signature of the patient care team physician who is practicing with the nurse practitioner or a clear statement of the name of the patient care team physician who has entered into the practice agreement.

D. In accordance with § 54.1-2957.01 of the Code of Virginia, a physician shall not serve as a patient care team physician to more than six nurse practitioners with prescriptive authority at any one time.

E. Exceptions.

1. A nurse practitioner licensed in the category of certified nurse midwife and holding a license for prescriptive authority may prescribe in accordance with a written or electronic practice agreement with a consulting physician or may prescribe Schedule VI controlled substances without the requirement for inclusion of such prescriptive authority in a practice agreement or with a certified nurse midwife who has practiced for at least two years prior to entering into a practice agreement. A nurse practitioner in the category of certified nurse midwife who has qualified for autonomous practice as set forth in 18VAC90-30-87 may prescribe without a practice agreement.

2. A nurse practitioner licensed in the category of a clinical nurse specialist and holding authorization for prescriptive authority may prescribe in accordance with a written or electronic practice agreement with a consulting physician or may prescribe Schedule VI controlled substances without the requirement for inclusion of such prescriptive authority in a practice agreement.

2. 3. A nurse practitioner who is licensed in a category other than certified nurse midwife, or certified registered nurse anesthetist, or clinical nurse specialist, and who has met the qualifications for autonomous practice as set forth in 18VAC90-30-86 may prescribe without a practice agreement with a patient care team physician.