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VA plans use of RNs to fill MDs’ roles

The Department of Veterans Affairs says it will cope with physician shortages by significantly broadening the scope of practice of nurses in treating patients. The VA has issued a proposal that would give a nurse the authority to treat patients without supervision of a doctor.

According to a May 27 report published by the Washington Post, the proposal – which will be open for public comment until the end of July – is being met with stiff backlash from doctors, who claim that the plan, if approved, will put patients’ lives in danger.

The American Nurses Association, meanwhile, sees limitations on the scope of practice for nurses with advanced training as harmful to patients since qualified nurses can help cut wait times and reduce backlogs.

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