A Note from Your VCNP President
Thanks to everyone who has been contacting their legislators about HB 1737. The bill passed the House and the Senate and has been communicated to Governor Northam. The Governor has until midnight on Friday to sign, veto or amend this legislation. Please contact Governor Northam now, and ask him to sign HB 1737. We will continue to keep you updated on the bill’s status through email and social media.
VCNP in the news
This week, VCNP’s president-elect Olivia Newby authored an op-ed that appeared in The Virginian-Pilot about HB 1737.
Additional General Assembly updates
House Bill 2061 is awaiting the Governor’s signature and requires all health care providers who administer vaccines to participate in the Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS). The bill will be effective January 1, 2022 to allow practices time to comply with the regulations. The VIIS helps consolidate vaccination records for patients and their medical professionals and is a powerful public health tool for managing immunization records and supporting healthier communities.

House Bill 1747 has passed the General Assembly and is awaiting action by the Governor. This bill would bring Clinical Nurse Specialists under the same licensure structure as the rest of the Advanced Practice Registered Nurses by bringing CNSs under the Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine and allowing for prescriptive authority.
Many of the other bills we’ve been following this Session are awaiting the budget conference report or action by the Governor. We will keep you updated via email as we learn more.
Quarantine guidelines for vaccinated persons
The CDC recently released interim clinical considerations for COVID vaccines. Part of this update includes public health recommendations for vaccinated persons, including those with an exposure to someone suspected to have or confirmed with COVID-19.
Virginia Special Senate election
VCNP member Laurie Buchwald, WHNP, FNP, is running for Virginia Senate in the 38th District, which includes all of Bland, Buchanan, Dickenson, Pulaski, Russell and Tazewell Counties, the cities of Norton and Radford, and parts of Montgomery, Smyth and Wise Counties. Voting for the special election runs through March 23 to fill the seat held by the late Sen. Ben Chafin. Board-certified in women’s health and family practice, Laurie is passionate about healthcare coverage and opportunities, especially in Southwest Virginia.
VCNP is proud to share information about members in the news. We are a bipartisan organization. This message is not an endorsement of the candidate.
Upcoming Free Vaccine Workshop
March 4 at 12PM: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Phase 3 Safety and Efficacy Data
Kent Hunter, PharmD, BS, Medical Affairs Vaccines Director for Pfizer, Inc. will lead this hour-long workshop and provide participants with an overview of phase 3 safety and efficacy for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. This workshop is intended for healthcare practitioners who administer vaccines.
Share your COVID vaccine photos
Whether you’re giving or getting the COVID vaccine, we’d like to share photos of these momentous occasions. Please send your pictures (please do not include patients or your vaccination card in photos) to VCNP staff for use in future VCNP communications.
Support NPs in Virginia - Apply for autonomous practice 
Although autonomous practice may not benefit you at the moment, legislators will be evaluating the number of NPs with autonomous licensure during the 2021 Joint Board Study. Since this number will be considered when reviewing future legislation, it is critical for NPs statewide to submit their applications. We don’t want our NP colleagues to miss this opportunity due to low numbers. Please submit your application and show your support for Virginia’s NPs.
As of February 2, there were 1,108 NPs with autonomous practice licenses in Virginia. If you have questions or need assistance with the application process, contact VCNP staff.
Member shares how EO 57 impacted his practice
“After my collaborating psychiatrist physician retired, I had to schedule patient intakes with my organization’s already very busy psychiatrist for 10 months, which resulted in delayed care. After EO 57 was enacted, I was able to practice without a collaborative agreement and increase access to care. I will continue to consult with physician colleagues on complex or unusual cases or when a patient fails to improve as expected, however the current 5-year requirement for autonomous practice resulted in delayed care for my patients.” – VCNP member
Thanks to Executive Order 57 enacted by Governor Northam in April 2020, NPs have been able to practice under the temporary 2-year regulation during the state of emergency. Have you been able to practice under these temporary regulations? Have you applied for autonomous practice under the current 5-year experience requirement? We want to hear from you! Let us know how autonomous licensure is impacting your practice and why you think it’s important for other NPs to apply. Send your stories – and a photo if you have one.
Support VCNP’s PAC by donating
VCNP is actively working to improve health care for all Virginians and to move NP practice forward in the Commonwealth. In recent years we’ve benefitted from HB 793, HB 1640 and EO 57 – and this year we introduced HB 1737. To ensure Virginia’s legislators hear our voice, please consider making a donation to VCNP’s PAC. Our goal with these donations is to continuously move toward full practice authority for practicing NPs in Virginia.
If you haven’t already registered for VCNP’s annual conference, it’s not too late to do so! We’ll have live and recorded sessions so you can earn additional CEs at your own pace. Take some time for yourself next month, and enjoy the variety of sessions we have planned for you. As always, please let me know how VCNP can continue to be a resource for you.
Becky Compton, DNP, RN, FNP-BC
President, VCNP Board of Directors