Note from Your VCNP President
With a rising number of new COVID-19 cases, Gov. Northam has announced new restrictions for Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Williamsburg, Newport News, Poquoson, James City County and York County. These restrictions, which take effect Friday, July 31 at midnight, include limiting private and public gatherings to 50 people, limiting indoor dining capacity to 50%, stopping alcohol service at 10 pm and closing restaurants at midnight. The rest of Virginia will remain under Phase Three guidelines.
Revised CDC guidelines
The CDC has updated its guidance on self-isolation for people who test positive for COVID-19. People who are symptomatic should isolate at home for 10 days after symptoms begin and for 24 hours after fever has broken. (Some people with severe illness and those who are severely immunocompromised may need to isolate for 20 days after symptom onset.) Asymptomatic patients should isolate for 10 days from the date of their first positive test. People do not need to have two negative tests to end isolation.
Free mental health app for healthcare workers
A new app designed to assess symptoms of stress and depression and connect frontline healthcare workers with care is available for free download on the app store. The Health Heroes app prompts users to take a five-minute weekly mental health survey, which also asks about the quality of sleep and amount of available PPE. At the end of the survey, users receive a snapshot of the severity of their symptoms and their trends from week to week.
Temporary vs. permanent autonomous practice requirements
This spring, Gov. Northam signed Executive Order 57, which allows NPs with two or more years of clinical experience to practice without a collaborating agreement during the state of emergency. There is no application needed to practice under this temporary order. This order does not reduce the current 5-year requirement to apply for permanent autonomous practice licensure.
If you meet the requirements and need assistance applying for permanent autonomous practice, contact [email protected] to be connected with a VCNP member who will answer your questions and guide you through the application process.
If you’ve received your license or know of someone who did, let us acknowledge them and/or celebrate with you! Please share your/their photo and why you/they applied – but be sure to get their permission first.
Department of Labor and Industry temporary standards
This week, the Department of Labor and Industry published documents for employers and employees to support and explain the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention. The standards were effective July 27 with the exception of required trainings, which will take effect in the coming months.

You can access the DOLI documents including frequently-asked questions, presentations about the standard, a training certification form, an outline for achieving compliance, and an infectious disease plan template below.
General Assembly special session – August 18
The General Assembly will reconvene for a special session on Aug. 18. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, VCNP has been working closely with the Governor’s office and legislators to ensure pressing needs for our patients and the profession are addressed through executive action and various policy workgroups. We are continuing to explore legislative changes that will impact NPs and will send additional information including suggestions for reaching out to legislators in the coming weeks.

VCNP plans to support VNA’s robust legislative agenda during August’s Special Session and in 2021. Topics include:

  • Keeping nurse preceptor funding in the state budget. Contact your legislator.
  • Permanently extending the provisions of the Governor’s emergency orders related to telemedicine and licensure, including relaxing some practice agreement requirements for APRNs.
  • Allowing Workers’ Compensation coverage for healthcare workers exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace.
  • Creating a professional program to address issues related to career fatigue or wellness for nurses. Similar legislation passed this year for physicians.
  • Requiring at least one full-time school nurse in every school.
  • Expanding the scope of practice and licensure for CNSs.

VCNP’s Government Relations committee will be closely following these issues and will share updates as available. For more information, contact Kim Bednar, GR committee chair, or your regional GR representative.
Support VCNP’s PAC
To ensure that Virginia’s legislators continue hearing from NPs, we need your help. If you’re able, please consider making a one-time or recurring monthly donation to VCNP’s PAC. If every VCNP member gives $10, we would raise $17,000 toward our goal of $20,000.
Support your local food bank
We recognize that COVID-19 has impacted everyone, including underserved and minority populations and our patients. VCNP is encouraging our members to serve their communities by donating time, goods or funds to your local food bank. Below is a list of regional resources. This list does not include places of worship and other local food banks and shelters. Thank you for considering supporting these local assistance programs or others in your community.
As NPs, I know we are being pulled in many directions, both personally and professionally. Please continue reaching out and supporting your healthcare colleagues, and let me know how VCNP can be a resource for you. Thank you for your continued dedication to your patients and our profession.
Becky Compton, DNP, RN, FNP-BC
President, VCNP Board of Directors