Rounds Issues Statement Following VA’s Announcement to Voluntarily Implement Bipartisan Provision to Enhance VA Medical Care

New policy will make it easier for the Veterans Administration to fully staff medical centers and cut wait times

WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today made the following statement in response to news that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is moving to voluntarily implement one of the key proposals from the bipartisan Veterans Health Care Staffing Improvement Act, which he introduced with Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). The legislation would help make sure that veterans can get the care they need in a timely fashion at VA health care facilities.

“I’m pleased the VA recognizes the need to cut down on unnecessary red tape that is preventing our veterans from receiving adequate and timely care,” said Rounds. “By easing unnecessary restrictions placed on APRNs [Advanced Practice Registered Nurses] within the VA system, veterans in South Dakota and across the country will have increased access to health care and have the ability to receive that care closer to home. I thank my colleagues in the Senate who worked with me to fix this misguided policy and look forward to working with the VA to see it implemented.”

Specifically, the new VA proposal would allow Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to provide health care services to the full extent of their practice authority. This will make it easier for the VA to find enough medical professionals to fill the need for health care services for veterans, particularly for primary care services and in rural areas.


The VA published the policy change today as a proposed rule. There will be a 60-day comment period on the rulemaking, after which the rule can go into effect.