Note from Your VCNP President
It’s been nearly 14 weeks since Governor Northam declared a state of emergency in Virginia due to COVID-19 and more than three weeks since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. We are continuing to share resources and remain committed to keeping this dialogue going. The following links include a variety of books, videos, articles, movies, podcasts, websites and social media channels about this topic. Please share additional resources that may be helpful to your NP colleagues.
Twitter chat about primary care during COVID – June 18
The Larry Green Center, the organization responsible for the weekly clinician surveys about primary care during COVID, is hosting a Twitter chat on Thursday, June 18 from 3-4 pm to discuss “Primary Care Transformation in the Era of COVID-19.” The discussion will include answering such questions as: What’s happening on the ground? What lessons are we learning? How can we plan for the future of primary care? What about patients? What about behavioral health? What steps can be taken now, and by whom? Join the conversation at #PrimaryCareCovidChat.
Virginia Department of Health updates
VCNP’s Board of Directors has been listening to the VDH’s update calls and sharing key points with our members. Highlights from last week’s call include:
1.      Over the next week, the VDH is expecting a 4,300 increase in positive COVID case numbers because two large labs are behind on updating their case numbers.

2.      Mental health support for Virginians are being enhanced to include:
  • Disaster behavioral health support – Virginia Copes program (877-349-6428). This anonymous program provides active listening, resources and referrals if needed. M-F 9am-9pm, Sat-Sun 5-9pm.
  • Frontline Wellness VA website to support frontline healthcare workers
  • DMAS is creating a 6-episode podcast to share COVID stories.

3.      VDEM is developing COVID guidelines for emergency congregate settings such as shelters for hurricanes.

4.      Reopening guidance for nursing homes is being developed. Reopening will be in three phases similar to phases for reopening Virginia. Each nursing home phase will lag behind Virginia by 14 days.

5.      Vaccines
  • There will be a limited supply of the COVID vaccine initially and will be distributed to priority groups, possibly by fall 2020. A second phase will vaccinate the general public, possibly in January 2021.
  • To decrease the burden on health care systems, the VDH is encouraging a high flu vaccine rate.
  • Any provider authorizing COVID vaccines must be enrolled in VIIS (Virginia Immunization Information System). This is not required for other vaccines but will be required for COVID vaccines. Enroll now before the vaccine is available.
  • VDH is working on public health messages to address the decrease in the childhood vaccination rate.
Board of Nursing temporary waivers update
Check the BON website for updates about temporary waivers for various nursing regulations including nursing reinstatement or reactivation and NP provisional licenses.
Specialization listings on nursing licenses
The Department of Health Professions has transitioned to a paperless licensing system. All new and renewed licenses will only contain the license type and number. Additional license details including autonomous practice, prescriptive authority and specializations may be viewed online on License Lookup.
Executive Order 57 extended until September 8
Executive Order 57 allows NPs with two or more years of clinical experience to practice without a collaborating agreement during the state of emergency. The order was recently extended and remains in effect until September 8, 2020.

If you have been able to practice autonomously because of this Executive Order, please let us know how this has changed your ability to practice and increase access to care.
Regardless of when this order ends, it does not reduce the hours required and need for permanent autonomous practice licensure. If you’re eligible, please apply .
If you have received your license, please share your photo and 1-2 sentences about why you applied for use in future VCNP communications.
Recognizing new graduates
We know celebrations look different this year, and we want to celebrate with you! Send your name, credentials, school and graduating program so we can honor you in VCNP communications. If you have a photo, please share that too. Preceptors and educators, help us recognize this year’s graduates.
I know these are challenging times, and I hope each of you is finding time to care for yourself. Please let me know how VCNP can continue to be a resource for you. Thank you for your commitment to your patients and our profession.
Becky Compton, DNP, RN, FNP-BC
President, VCNP Board of Directors