Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations
Chapter 29. Medicine and Other Healing Arts
10/15/2019

§ 54.1-2957.01. Prescription of certain controlled substances and devices by licensed nurse practitioners.

A. In accordance with the provisions of this section and pursuant to the requirements of Chapter 33 (§ 54.1-3300 et seq.), a licensed nurse practitioner, other than a certified registered nurse anesthetist, shall have the authority to prescribe Schedule II through Schedule VI controlled substances and devices as set forth in Chapter 34 (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.).

B. A nurse practitioner who does not meet the requirements for practice without a written or electronic practice agreement set forth in subsection I of § 54.1-2957 shall prescribe controlled substances or devices only if such prescribing is authorized by a written or electronic practice agreement entered into by the nurse practitioner and a patient care team physician. Such nurse practitioner shall provide to the Boards of Medicine and Nursing such evidence as the Boards may jointly require that the nurse practitioner has entered into and is, at the time of writing a prescription, a party to a written or electronic practice agreement with a patient care team physician that clearly states the prescriptive practices of the nurse practitioner. Such written or electronic practice agreements shall include the controlled substances the nurse practitioner is or is not authorized to prescribe and may restrict such prescriptive authority as described in the practice agreement. Evidence of a practice agreement shall be maintained by a nurse practitioner pursuant to § 54.1-2957. Practice agreements authorizing a nurse practitioner to prescribe controlled substances or devices pursuant to this section either shall be signed by the patient care team physician or shall clearly state the name of the patient care team physician who has entered into the practice agreement with the nurse practitioner.

It shall be unlawful for a nurse practitioner to prescribe controlled substances or devices pursuant to this section unless (i) such prescription is authorized by the written or electronic practice agreement or (ii) the nurse practitioner is authorized to practice without a written or electronic practice agreement pursuant to subsection I of § 54.1-2957.

C. The Boards of Medicine and Nursing shall promulgate regulations governing the prescriptive authority of nurse practitioners as are deemed reasonable and necessary to ensure an appropriate standard of care for patients. Such regulations shall include requirements as may be necessary to ensure continued nurse practitioner competency, which may include continuing education, testing, or any other requirement, and shall address the need to promote ethical practice, an appropriate standard of care, patient safety, the use of new pharmaceuticals, and appropriate communication with patients.

D. This section shall not limit the functions and procedures of certified registered nurse anesthetists or of any nurse practitioners which are otherwise authorized by law or regulation.

E. The following restrictions shall apply to any nurse practitioner authorized to prescribe drugs and devices pursuant to this section:

1. The nurse practitioner shall disclose to the patient at the initial encounter that he is a licensed nurse practitioner. Any party to a practice agreement shall disclose, upon request of a patient or his legal representative, the name of the patient care team physician and information regarding how to contact the patient care team physician.

2. Physicians shall not serve as a patient care team physician on a patient care team at any one time to more than six nurse practitioners.

F. This section shall not prohibit a licensed nurse practitioner from administering controlled substances in compliance with the definition of "administer" in § 54.1-3401 or from receiving and dispensing manufacturers' professional samples of controlled substances in compliance with the provisions of this section.

G. Notwithstanding any provision of law or regulation to the contrary, a nurse practitioner licensed by the Boards of Medicine and Nursing in the category of certified nurse midwife and holding a license for prescriptive authority may prescribe (i) Schedules II through V controlled substances in accordance with any prescriptive authority included in a practice agreement with a licensed physician pursuant to subsection H of § 54.1-2957 and (ii) Schedule VI controlled substances without the requirement for inclusion of such prescriptive authority in a practice agreement.

1991, cc. 519, 524; 1992, c. 409; 1995, c. 506; 1999, c. 745; 2000, c. 924; 2005, c. 926; 2006, c. 494; 2012, c. 213; 2016, c. 495; 2018, c. 776.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.