Comment period for VA nursing rules closes July 25

By staff writers

July 22, 2016 -- The public comment period closes on July 25 for a controversial proposal that would give nurses more authority over medical imaging exams at facilities in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system.

The proposal was issued May 25 and would allow advanced-practice registered nurses (APRNs) a range of duties traditionally performed by physicians. With respect to radiology, the rule would allow nurses who have passed a certification program to "order, perform, supervise, and interpret laboratory and imaging studies." The rule would supersede state laws.

A number of groups in organized radiology oppose the proposed rule, including the American College of Radiology (ACR), the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), and the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).

"The VA's proposal of substituting patient access to radiologists for much less-trained APRNs could pose immediate dangers for patients at the point of care," the ACR stated in an email to members. "Simply stated, for anyone who feels our veterans deserve the best care available, this VA proposal is not a good idea."

The VA is accepting public comment on the proposal up to and including July 25. An explanation of the rule and instructions on how to comment can be reached by clicking here.

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