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Virginia News

Mid-Atlantic region

Access to Care

by Donya Currie - 1/01/2012

Legislation backed by AARP could improve access to health care by expanding the scope of practice of nurse practitioners.

Nurse practitioners are advanced-practice registered nurses with master's or doctoral degrees. Although 20 states and the District of Columbia allow them to practice independently, Virginia is one of 12 states that mandate physician supervision. AARP is lobbying to remove that requirement.

Similar legislation failed to pass in 2010, but the idea of expanding the pool of primary care providers is gaining momentum — especially in rural areas and other underserved communities.

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