To the editor:
The men and women working at the VA hospitals and clinics are talented and hard-working folks. But, as a military veteran, I just can’t help but feel that when I’m at a facility, they are still struggling to keep up with long lists of veterans who are waiting patiently for an appointment.
Considering how many veterans rely on VA hospitals for their medical care – nearly 9 million – it’s time we do more to address this problem.
Fortunately, there’s one way to start improving the situation: Recognize the thousands of advanced-practice registered nurses already working for the Veterans Health Administration as full-practice providers, so they can help get veterans the care they need more quickly.
Advanced-practice registered nurses, like nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists, can help move the VHA toward the model that is becoming critical to other healthcare systems, including the Department of Defense, which utilizes APRNs to care for active-duty service members.
Like many veterans, as I grow older, I’m starting to realize that healthcare issues are becoming much more critical. There are veterans who are far worse off than me who can’t wait. APRNs should be allowed to practice to the full scope of their abilities, just as they do on the front lines.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts 8736