A Note from Your VCNP President
This year’s General Assembly session is moving fast, and our bill, House Bill 1737, continues to move forward, thanks to your efforts. Starting at 4 pm today, the bill will be heard on the House floor. If it passes the House, it will go through the same process when it crosses over to the Senate.

Last night we sent a detailed email about the legislative process and an enactment clause added by Del. Dawn Adams at VCNP’s request. The enactment clause states the provisions of HB 1737 would revert from two to five years on July 1, 2022 unless re-enacted by the 2022 General Assembly. The enactment clause is a commonly used tool that provides an expiration date, rather than where we stand now under the extended EO 57 of “until the end of the state of emergency.” The expiration date would extend through the release of the 2021 Joint Boards Study and the 2022 General Assembly session.

Please continue contacting your legislators to ask for their support HB 1737. We will continue to keep you updated on the bill’s status through email and social media.
Help advance the Nurse Preceptor Incentive Program
During last year’s General Assembly session, budget amendments were adopted to create a nursing preceptor incentive program. This program, administered by the Virginia Department of Health, offers financial incentive for any Virginia licensed physician, physician's assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse who, in conjunction with a licensed and accredited Virginia public or private not-for-profit school of nursing, provides a clinical education rotation of 250 hours. Unfortunately because of the pandemic, funding for this program was frozen.

Please contact your legislators and ask for their support of this budget amendment.
Virginia Immunization Information System
House Bill 2061 would require all health care providers who administer vaccines to participate in the Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS). 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. The bill has passed the House and will be heard in the Senate next month.
Virginia Department of Health updates
This week the VDH provided updates about –
  • Reporting race/ethnicity for COVID-19 immunizations
  • COVID-19 vaccine allocation methodology
  • B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19 virus detected in Virginia
  •  Travel restrictions for people entering U.S.
  • New text messaging service to streamline positive test result awareness and exposure notifications available in English and Spanish
Updated CDC guidance on COVID-19 vaccines
On January 21, the CDC provided updated clinical considerations for use of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized in the U.S. The changes include new recommendations on intervals between the first and second doses of the approved vaccines. The CDC also updated guidance on the interchangeability of vaccine products and language on vaccination of persons with a history of infection.
Medicaid billing updates
Recent federal legislation includes improvement to surprise billing reform and applies to NPs as well as physicians. Improvements include clarification about upfront, initial payments or notice of denial from health plans, increase in time to pursue independent dispute resolution (IDR), prohibition against considering public program rates during the IDR process and elimination of problematic timely billing provisions.
Share your COVID vaccine photos
Many NPs have already rolled up their sleeves to get the COVID vaccine. We’d like to share photos of these momentous occasions so please share your pictures with us for use in future VCNP communications.
Apply for autonomous practice 
Even if autonomous practice won’t help in your current job, legislators will be looking at these numbers following the 2021 Joint Boards Study and will consider them when reviewing future legislation. Please submit your application and show your support for Virginia's NPs.
As of January 12, there were 1,108 NPs with autonomous practice licenses in Virginia. If you have questions or need assistance with the application process, contact vcnp@vcnp.net.
Share your autonomous practice stories
Have you received your autonomous practice license? Have you been able to practice under the temporary 2-year regulations during the state of emergency? We need your stories! Let us know why you applied, how autonomous practice 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.
Make your voice heard – donate to VCNP’s PAC
In recent years we’ve benefitted from HB 793, HB 1640 and EO 57, legislation advancing the role of NPs in Virginia – and in 2021 we introduced HB 1737. To ensure Virginia’s legislators continue hearing from NPs, please consider making a one-time or recurring monthly donation to VCNP’s PAC.
NPs in the news
This week an NP was appointed as Acting U.S. Surgeon General. Rear Admiral Susan Orsega, MSN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, currently directs the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and oversees its 6,500 uniformed professional health professionals. Her appointment will bridge the gap until the Senate holds confirmation hearings for President Biden’s official nominee, Dr. Vivek Murthy, who served in the role under former President Barack Obama.
I know it’s been a long 10 months for healthcare professionals. Thank you for your ongoing dedication to your patients and the NP profession. Please be sure to take some time to care for yourself, and let me know how VCNP can continue to be a resource for you.
Becky Compton, DNP, RN, FNP-BC
President, VCNP Board of Directors