June 3, 2016 On May 25, 2016 the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs introduced a proposal that would allow nurses to, “Order, perform, supervise, and interpret laboratory and imaging studies.” Contained in the proposal is the ability to circumvent state laws which might prohibit this professional task. There should be strong opposition to this measure as only registered radiologic technologists should perform procedures that use ionizing radiation. Certified nurse practitioners do not have the education, experience or skills required to perform highly technical procedures like x-ray, computed tomography, nuclear medicine, vascular-interventional or bone densitometry. This proposal is a threat to patients and registered radiologic technologists.
The physician groups in including the American College of Radiology are opposing the measure. As the issue surrounding the delivery of care to veterans has already been compromised by the many problems in the Veterans Administration population, why would the VA want to endanger patients who generally have more complex health issues? The measure is being opposed by the American Medical Association and the Anesthesiology Society. Primary Care physician groups have expressed their amazement as well.
We encourage all radiologic technologists, nurses who do not want the extra responsibility for which they gave not been trained and physicians to join in our effort to oppose this shortsighted proposal. Please submit your comments to the federal government and let them know that you strongly oppose the VA’s efforts to bypass patient safety measures by allowing nonqualified certified nursing professionals to perform medical imaging procedures. All comments must be submitted by July 25. You can submit comments to the Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/05/25/2016-12338/advanced-practice-registered-nurses#h-4.