In order to combat the shortage of doctors at VA facilities the VA proposed a law that would expand the duties of nurses with advanced degrees. An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) typically has a masters, post masters, or doctorate degree. This proposal would expand their duties to include conducting physicals; diagnose, treat, and manage patients with both acute and chronic conditions; order and interpret diagnosis and lab tests; administer anesthesia; deliver babies; and prescribe medications. There is no word if the VA will be using nurses to perform these tasks on a regular basis but currently none of the expanded duties are prohibited by law.
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