December 14, 2016
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has scaled back a proposal that would have granted expanded duties to advanced-level nurses within the VA system by removing language that could have allowed nurses to perform and interpret medical imaging studies.
SNMMI, as well as other organizations in the imaging community, submitted comments to the VA expressing concern about this potential expansion of nurses’ duties into areas for which they do not have the requisite training. The society also launched an effort encouraging members to share their feedback and submit comments. This resulted in the VA receiving thousands of comments on their proposed rule.
While SNMMI supports the VA’s efforts to provide a higher level of care to veterans, it did not see how better care could be provided by allowing nurses, who lack adequate education and training to perform, order, and/or interpret nuclear medicine studies, to undertake those responsibilities. SNMMI commends the VA for amending its proposal and removing language that would allow nurses to perform and interpret imaging exams.