New Bill Would Reduce Barriers to Independent Practice for NPs in Virginia

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Friday, October 30, 2020

A new bill pre-filed in Virginia for the 2021 session would allow nurse practitioners (NPs) to practice independently sooner than the current rules allow. House Bill 1737 (HB 1737) is sponsored by Representative Dawn Adams. This bill is pre-filed in advance of the 2021 session, so it has yet to be assigned to a committee for further deliberation. Currently, bills for 2021 are not searchable on the Virginia legislative website, but it should be added soon; you can search for the text of HB 1737 here.
HB 1737 would bring minor changes to Virginia’s current NP practice laws. Currently, NPs in Virginia require a written practice agreement with a supervising physician to practice for the first five years of clinical practice; HB 1737 would reduce this practice requirement to only two years, allowing NPs to practice on their own significantly quicker. However, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists are still required to maintain practice agreements with physicians, regardless of their length of practice.
The national trend has been moving toward allowing NPs and other advanced practitioners to practice with reduced restrictions and supervision requirements. HB 1737 is right in line with that trend and, if passed, would make it easier for Virginia NPs to achieve practice independence.
We will be monitoring HB 1737 as it works its way through Virginia’s legislative process next year. While the bill itself makes only a few changes, they are significant, which could make it a contentious bill.