SDW news brief: New law in Virginia encourages healthcare teams

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, April 27, 2012

The Medical Society of Virginia and the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners teamed up to create a new law aimed at promoting team-based care and greater collaboration between nurse practitioners (NP) and physicians. The law allows physicians to partner with six NPs, and enables NPs to work in different locations apart from their team to serve a wider patient population. Previous laws required NPs to work under direct supervision of a physician at the same location, and limited the number of NPs a physician could partner with to four. Supporters of the new law feel it offers greater flexibility and will improve patient care.

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners opposes the new law, citing concerns that the law links a nurse practitioners' ability to obtain a license with being a part of a healthcare team under the leadership of a physician. The organization also notes that the language of the law stresses physician-led teams rather than collaborative team-based care.

Source: American Medical News

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