Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Nursing
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5/4/18  9:44 am
Commenter: Kathleen Forst Putnam, PhD, WHNP-BC, CAPT, USNR- retired

HB 793

Thank you for the opportunity to provide public comment. I have been a nurse practitioner (NP) for 25+ years.  I have worked in a variety of clinical settings over my career to include private practice, military facilities and free clinics.  Additionally, I am a veteran, having served our nation as a Nurse Practitioner in the United States Navy Nurse Corps for 20 years.  I am currently working in a private practice in Lynchburg.  


In addition to my clinical experience, I have worked much of my career educating nurse practitioners.  I was the program director of a women's health nurse practitioner program, and have taught nurse practitioner students at UVa.  


Completion of graduate education and national board certification are evidence that I am a competent clinician. Nurse practitioners have demonstrated that we provide excellent patient care.  I stressed to my students over the years that "we must know what we know, and know what we DON'T know" in order to provide safe care.  Please keep in mind our dedication to safe patient care as rules are being promulgated.  


Acceptance of “other evidence” demonstrating that the applicant has met the requirements must be broadly interpreted. We ask that the Joint boards issue a guidance document listing examples of supporting evidence that they would take into consideration. Office administrators, health system administrators, and credentialing documents should all be accepted as evidence that an applicant has met the necessary requirements. 


The five-year equivalent requirement creates a costly bottleneck to building provider workforce and equitable distribution in primary care delivery for underserved and vulnerable populations. In Central Virginia where I currently practice, there are many patients who don't have access to health care for a variety of reasons. Unduly burdensome regulations on top of this requirement will result in additional bottlenecks compromising access to care. 


Over my career as a nurse practitioner, I have been witness to our expanding responsibilities.  We were given prescriptive authority many years ago when I began to practice. I believe that HB 793 with its 'nurse practitioner friendly' regulations will only help us to provide health care to those who need it.  We celebrate the passage of HB 793.  


CommentID: 65293