Nurse Practitioners can finally practice on their own in Virginia
By Keya Vakil
May 6, 2019

It’s National Nurses Day and the beginning of National Nurses Week, which is a fitting time to honor nurse practitioner Susan Adamson.

A nurse practitioner of 26 years, Adamson became the first NP in Virginia to practice on her own, without a collaborating physician.

Up until January 2019, Virginia state law dictated that NPs could not practice on their own and had to instead enter into a collaborative practice agreement with a physician if they wanted to practice.

This meant that a physician had to sign-off on a nurse practitioner’s charts and physicians could only have four nurse practitioners in their agreement, which limited the number of NPs that patients can have access to.

These restrictions were among the reasons Adamson spent years advocating for a change to the state’s policies on collaborative practice agreements.

In 2018, she succeeded. This year, nurse practitioners who have practiced for 9,000 hours or five years full time can submit an application and $100 be issued a license to practice autonomously.

Adamson was the first person in the state to be issued a license, and between 250 and 350 nurse practitioners have received their licenses since then.

Adamson told the Daily News-Record that the legislation was a “huge win for the patients, a huge win for the physician, and a huge win for NPs who will now be able to practice what we’ve been trained to do.”

  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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