Dear Boards of Nursing and Medicine,
Thank you for the opportunity to provide public professional advisement on the promulgation of HB 793. I have been a board certified adult nurse practitioner for 25 years, practicing in various primary care facilities, have taught at the graduate level for 23 years and have recently returned for a post-doctoral certification as a psychiatric mental health NP. I will complete my program of study in May of 2019. I am not starting over, I am adding to my current credentials. The catalyst is to provide integrative holistic care to my primary care patients and to prepare my NP/DNP students to do the same. I am blessed to have been "raised and mentored" by both nurse and physician educators and I want to pay that forward.
I respectfully request the joint boards to consider the near unanimous support of this bill by the General Assembly as decisions on regulations are made to promote the health of Virginians, some of which are our most vulnerable and underserved citizens. The testimony of our competency is far greater than a signature by a physician colleague. Neither should it change the collegial relationship between two professional groups who are working for the same cause, best patient outcomes. The evidence of education, certification, licensure, annual continuing education credits, employment records/agreements, involvement in local, state and national organizations and most certainly evidence of patient outcomes are but a few of the cumulative attestations of our competency, professionalism and commitment to being providers of Primum non nocere "do no harm". I advocate for diverse attestations that will qualify and quantify the competency of the nurse practitioner. Specific to additional certifications and endorsements, I ask the board to acknowledge and waive any additional 5 year period requirement for second certifications. We need our experienced NPs to return for additional credentialing in order to provide augmented care to population health, especially in the area of mental and behavioral health. I believe our physician colleagues who acquire additional "training" have no "wait period" in executing a new skill or procedure and their licensure and certification suffice.
I appreciate your task at hand and I look forward to the outcomes that will bring us closer to the professional parity that we deserve.
With much gratitude,
Dr. Rosie Taylor-Lewis, DNP, ANP-BC, GNP