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APRN corner.

Happy New Year--2017 is going to be a great year.

The annual APRN Pharmacology Conference is fast approaching. Please mark your calendars and get time off work to get here. It will be March 3rd & 4th 2017 at the Best Western Hotel in Helena, Montana. We have over 14 hours of fabulous CE and Pharmacology CE awaiting you. Some of the topics include; Pediatric IBS, Cardiology, Migraines, Dermatology, use of Ketamine in the palliative care patient, Insomnia and Sleep Disorders and Naltrexone tx--just to mention a few. We have experts in their fields to share their knowledge with us. Our Keynote speaker will be Peter J. Buerhaus, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAANP-E, distinguished professor and researcher. He will be discussing his research on NPs in rural settings. It is always a fun time to reconnect with fellow NPs, meet new NPs and gain some cutting edge practice pearls. If you know any NP students, please encourage them to attend as well. This is a good introduction for many of them to the role. We will also have a luncheon with the current Montana legislative update. If you would like to be a speaker, have a poster presentation for the annual APRN spring pharmacology Conference, contact Mary Thomas at

If you haven't heard, the US Department of Veterans Affairs issued its final rule granting veterans direct access to care by APRNs who work in the VA medical system. There are over 4800 APRNs working in the VA health system. The VA amended its medical regulations to permit full practice authority of three APRN roles--NP, CNM and CNS when they are acting within the scope of their VA employment. CRNA's were not included in the full practice authority. This rule is effective January 13, 2017. This will expand the pool of qualified health professionals who are authorized to provide primary care and other related health care services without the clinical supervision of physicians. It permits the VA to use its health care resources more effectively. It will be consistent with the role of APRNs in the nonVA sector in full practice states. Congrats to all that wrote their congressperson, the VA and supported AANP and ANA and many other NP specialty organizations for their lobbying efforts and joint purpose and goal.

I hope that this move by the VA will help other APRNs in states with limited practice authority to have some momentum gaining full practice authority. For Montana APRNs, we must always be diligent keeping our full practice authority. With the upcoming legislative session, we will be on the alert for any possible threats to our practice.

We are continuing to work on Global Signature while we are able to provide a full array of primary care services, we are still unable to sign certain documents that impact day to day patient care. Often these barriers to practice raise cost and delay timely care delivery. Some of these in Montana include immunization exemption forms, police officer physical, competency certifications, and admission to state hospitals. We are asking for the removal of unnecessary red tape. If you have specific STATE documents that APRNs can't sign that fall within our scope of practice please send them to me. We want legislation that would clarify whenever any law or regulation requires a signature, certification, stamp, verification, affidavit or endorsement by a physician, these statements shall be applied and deemed appropriate to be signed by an APRN within their scope of practice. This law has been adopted in about 5 states. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any concern or

Keven Comer, MN, APRN, FNP-BC
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Author:Comer, Keven
Publication:The Pulse
Geographic Code:1U8MT
Date:Feb 1, 2017
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