Legislative Updates for Healthcare Professionals & Public Officials

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