Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Nursing
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5/2/18  4:27 pm
Commenter: Karen Karlowicz, Old Dominion University

Five year full time equivalence period is too long

The legislation passed that allows nurse practitioners to engage in independent practice is long overdue.  However, the five year full time equivalence period is too long.  I understand the reasoning behind this requirement, but the proposed time frame is excessive, the longest in the nation, and negatively impacts efforts to increase access to health providers in underserved areas of the Commonwealth.  Schools of Nursing that educate nurse practitioners meet strict academic and clinical standards to assure that graduates are able to practice competently and safely within this advanced practice role.  Graduates of medical education programs complete residencies and fellowships over several years before launching into independent sub-specialty practice, and yet technically, in most states (but not all) medical school graduates are required to complete only a one-year internship before engaging in independent practice.  Why should this be different for nurse practitioners who likely have had 2 or more years of practice in the RN role before earning certification as a NP, whereas medical graduates have had no prior experience in the provider role. The Boards must take care not to get caught implementing a double standard.

CommentID: 65271