Legislative Updates for Healthcare Professionals & Public Officials

2017 Legislative Receptions

Please join VNA and our partner organizations for a legislative reception in our area. Nurses will have the opportunity to meet with candidates and legislators to exchange ideas and explore solutions to improve access to healthcare in the Commonwealth. Please join us for these FREE events open to all members of the healthcare community.

There are many candidates running for office this year. It is a great opportunity to tell about your practice, the community you serve, and legislative concerns for midwifery and your clients.   Although ACNM may not be listed, CNMs are welcome to participate in all of the Legislative Receptions.  Please register for the one nearest to you.

Augusta Legislative Dinner

Sponsored by the Virginia Nurses Association and the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners

Wednesday, September 20 at 6:00 p.m.
Augusta Health Community Care Building
78 Medical Center Drive
Fishersville, VA 22939

Register Here

Blue Ridge Nurses Legislative Reception

Sponsored by the VNA New River Valley Chapter, the VNA Roanoke Valley Chapter, and the VCNP Blue Ridge Region

Thursday, September 21, 2017 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital
6th floor auditorium
1904 Belleview Avenue SE
Roanoke, VA 24014

Register Here

Northern Virginia Nurses Legislative Reception

Sponsored by the VNA Northern Virginia Chapter and the VCNP Northern Virginia Region, with support from the Virginia Affiliate of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the Virginia Association of Nurse Anesthetists, and the Virginia Association of DNPs.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center
3740 Old Lee Hwy
Fairfax, VA 22030

Register Here

Tidewater Nurses Legislative Reception

Sponsored by the VNA Hampton Roads Chapter and the VCNP Tidewater Region, with support from the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and the Virginia Association of DNPs.

Thursday, October 5, 2017 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Old Dominion Higher Education Center
1881 University Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23453

Register Here

Southwestern Virginia Nurses Legislative Reception

Sponsored by the VNA Southwestern Chapter and the VCNP Southwest Region

Monday, October 16, 2017 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Smyth County Community Hospital
River Ridge Cafe
245 Medical Park Drive
Marion, VA 24354

Register Here

Hill City/Lynchburg Nurses Legislative Reception

Sponsored by the VNA Hill City Chapter and the VCNP Lynchburg Region
Please note that there will be a moderated discussion at this event. If you would like a question or comment to be considered during the discussion, you must submit your question prior to the event. Please click here to submit a question for consideration.

Thursday, October 19, 2017 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Centra Lynchburg General Hospital
First Colony Conference Room #2
1901 Tate Springs Road
Lynchburg, VA 24501

Register Here

Virginia Neonatal Perinatal Collaborative


Click Here to Watch the Video

This morning (June 29, 2017 @ 10:30 a.m.), the March of Dimes, The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG National) Virginia Section, and Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association will host a news conference announcing the formation of a new statewide collaborative to promote birth health and work to combat issues like Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). The Virginia Neonatal Perinatal Collaborative will focus on improving birth health for babies and mothers. That work includes a focus on the rapid rise in Virginia newborns diagnosed with NAS, a condition that afflicts babies experiencing withdrawal symptoms after being exposed to drugs in the womb during pregnancy. Scheduled speakers at the news conference include Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, Delegate Chris Stolle, and physicians from VCU Health, Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU, UVA Health System, Riverside Regional Medical Center - Peninsula, HCA Virginia Physicians, and a MEDNAX-affiliated physician from Carilion Clinic. The Virginia Affiliate of the American College of Nurse-Midwives also supports the Collaborative. VHHA will livestream this event on Facebook beginning at 10:30 a.m.We hope you can tune in to this important announcement focusing on the health of mothers and babies. #HospitalsMatter #PatientsComeFirst

Our Virginia Affiliate Lobby Day

Thursday January 26, 2017 in Richmond!



If you would like more information regarding legislative activities, please contact

Mary Ellen Bouchard, CNM


2016 VA Affiliate Legislative Activities

(Updated 07/06/16)

CNMs in Virginia have been active in promoting the profession of nurse-midwifery. There are several ways for CNMs and student nurse-midwives to participate:

  • Anticipated legislation and policy issues are addressed in updates at the Virginia Affiliate Fall and Spring retreats.
  • Lobby Day at the Virginia Capitol in Richmond is held each winter. Next Lobby Day: Thursday, January 26, 2017 at the General Assembly Building In Richmond
  • Legislative Alerts are sent out to each VA Afilliate member to indicate support or opposition to specific bills or areas of urgent concern on both a national and state level
  • Updates and issues of urgent concern are sent out to the VA Affiliate on a regular basis particularly during the VA legislative session.
  • Join the Legislative Committee of the VA Affiliate! Email our Legislative Chair: Mary Ellen Bouchard, CNM

Our Future

Helping our legislators and the public to understand the contribution of CNMs to the health of Virginia's women and babies is an ongoing process.

Participating in the legislative process is encouraged for all CNMs, student nurse-midwives, aspiring nurse-midwives, consumers, and supporters of nurse-midwives.

Legislative Links

Link to national legislative issues through ACNM
Link to the Virginia Legislation Information System

  • House and Senate Members and contact information
  • Legislative Committees
  • Bills and Bill summaries, Action on Bills, and Bill history
  • Budget

Guide to State Capitol in Richmond : including Visitor’s Guide and directions

Who is my legislator?

Lobby Tips

2016 Legislation Action Summary

  1. Titling: Legislation was passed to change titling of the four Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) groups (NPs, CRNAs, CNSs, and CNMs) to APRN to aid in understanding the role of the APRN. It is hoped that this will aid in supporting understanding of the APRN role and education in future legislative efforts.
  2. Practice and Prescriptive Authority: Passage of SB 463 was a successful legislative effort for the Virginia Affiliate.
    • This legislation is a small step to provide increase access to care for the women of Virginia by decreasing restriction of nurse-midwifery practice.
    • The legislation removes the restrictive requirement for a mandatory chart reviews by the physician, written practice agreements with a physician, and practice within a physician-led team. A consulting physician agreement (not specifically from an OB/GYN or in writing) will be required for urgent consultations.
    • Independent prescriptive authority for non-controlled Schedule VI substances within these practices will be allowed. This includes contraceptives, Pitocin, antibiotics, and SSRI antidepressants. A written agreement with a physician will still be required for CNMs prescribing controlled substances.
    • Regulations are still to be established by the Board of Nursing and Board of Medicine. A summary of the legislative effort will be published in an upcoming issue of Quickening.
  3. Multiple bills were supported by the VA Affiliate to support nurse-practitioners full practice authority, but they were not passed by the legislature.



Reform statutes and regulations to conform to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s Consensus Model for APRN Regulation. When APRNs are permitted to practice to the full extent of their education and training, they provide equal, and in some cases, better care1. In coordination with the three other APRN roles, certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), and certified nurse practitioner (CNP), CNMs are advocating for progress towards implementing the full Consensus Model in Virginia. In Virginia, 70 counties do not have CNM care.

The Federal Trade Commission has endorsed APRN independent practice2 as “a key component of our nation’s strategy to deliver effective health care efficiently and, in particular, to fill gaps in primary care access.” The FTC further observed that “based on substantial evidence and experience, expert bodies have concluded that APRNs are safe and effective as independent providers of many health care services within the scope of their training, licensure, certification, and current practice.”


Support and sustain programs, like FAMIS Moms, Comprehensive Health Improvement Program (CHIP), and Healthy Virginia Families, to provide quality prenatal, maternity, post-partum and other medical services to in-need pregnant women. These programs provide essential services to low-income pregnant women that are important for the short and long-term health of them and their babies.


Support the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion option to provide coverage to over 400,000 Virginians who lack healthcare coverage.


Support prevention efforts and comprehensive treatment access for pregnant women dealing with substance abuse. Oppose efforts to further criminalize substance abuse by pregnant women, as it discourages such women from seeking help and treatment.


In response to national maternity provider shortages, it has become more necessary to increase access to midwifery care. As part of this endeavor, we:

  1. Encourage CNMs in Virginia and aspiring CNMs to become members of the Virginia Affiliate of ACNM both to contribute your coin and voice to our legislative efforts
  2. Nurture aspiring nurse-midwives, birth workers, nurses, and continue to partner with collaborating stakeholders to address the maternity provider shortage and share the holistic philosophy and high standards of midwifery care

For more information, contact your local certified nurse-midwife:
Contact Jessica Jordan, CNM, Va Affiliate President, at (804) 677-5442
Contact Mary Ellen Bouchard, CNM, CNM, Legislative Chair, at (203)215-4685

1Journal of Nursing Economics, Sept/Oct 2011
2Policy Perspectives: Competition and the Regulation of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, Federal Trade Commission, March 2014

Virginia Legislation Information

National Legislation Information