News & Events

2017 AVANA Education Meeting

May 17th – 21st, 2017 at the Chicago Westin O’Hare Hotel

 westin chicago

Regional Workshop on May 17th!

Lectures and presentations May 18th – 21st

The Westin O’Hare is just minutes from O’Hare International Airport and provides a complimentary shuttle service that departs from the hotel. Additionally, you’re just walking distance to the Blue Line “EL” train providing service to downtown Chicago. Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont Theater, MB Financial Park and the new Fashion Outlets of Chicago are just minutes away.

Now looking for posters presentations, speakers, and vendors. Contact

More details to follow. Check back soon!

2016 ALPS Scholarship

scholarship vintage orange seal isolated on white
Now accepting applications for the 2016 ALPS Scholarship. Airfare and two nights hotel stay will be sponsored to attend the AANA’s Mid-Year Assembly in Washington DC in 2017. Don’t delay – the deadline for applications is November 15, 2016.apply_now_button

Bob Dole Supports FPA

Thank you for you service and your support Senator Dole!


Senator Robert J. Dole is a World War II Veteran, former Senate Majority Leader and 1996 Republican candidate for president.

You can read his guest column from HERE

AHA expresses support for VA proposed rule on advanced practice RNs


The AHA Friday expressed its full support for a Department of Veterans Affairs’ proposed rule that would allow all advanced practice registered nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and training. “This proposal is critical to ensuring that an adequate supply of quality licensed health providers is available to care for the more than 9 million veterans served annually by the VA system,” wrote Ashley Thompson, AHA senior vice president for public policy analysis and development.  

The American Hospital Association (AHA) is the national organization that represents and serves all types of hospitals, health care networks, and their patients and communities. Nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members come together to form the AHA.


AANA2016Association of Veterans Affairs Nurse Anesthetists at the 2016 AANA Annual Congress

Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel



Garrett Peterson, CRNA, Penny Jensen, FNP-C, and Sherry Swearngin, CRNA

Special Guest: Penny Jensen DNP, APRN, FNP-C, FAAN, FAANP

Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Nursing Service

Liaison for National APRN Policy

Author of the VA APRN Proposed Rule AP44


When: Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Time: 1730 – 1900

Room: Taft (located on Mezzanine Level)



AMVETS Supports Us, And We Support Them!

After learning more about who we are and what we do, AMVETS has given its support to the proposed regulation granting Full Practice Authority to APRNs in the VA! As one of America’s leading veterans service organizations with over 250,000 members, AMVETS (or American Veterans) has a proud history of assisting veterans and sponsoring numerous programs that serve our country and its citizens. You can read their letter HERE





Paralyzed Veterans of America Support FPA for APRNs!


The Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) has come out in support of Full Practce Authority for APRNs in the VA. Many of these brave heroes recieved battlefield anesthesia from a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist! You can read their letter HERE

VA Commission on Care Report


The “Commission on Care ” was established by Congress in 2014 to “examine veterans’ access to Department of Veterans Affairs health care and to examine strategically how best to organize the Veterans Health Administration, locate health resources, and deliver health care to veterans during the next 20 years.”

The final report of the Commission on Care is now available. It contains 18 recommendations, the second of which is to “Enhance clinical operations through more effective use of providers and other health professionals, and improved data collection and management.” This is expanded further on page 53 of the pdf, where it recommends that the VA “Develop policy to allow full practice authority for APRNs.


Click here to read the report and here to read the press release.


Full Practice Authority Update

We have learned recently that as federal employees, we CAN comment on the proposed regulation.

From the VACO:

“VA employees are entitled to comment as private citizens but you cannot use your official VA title or office. You may identify your function such as RN, CRNA, MD, DO, LPN, LVN, RT, CRT, MT, CLT or whatever career you are in. Just do not identify yourself as a VA employee, supervisor, manager or section chief.

o   Do not comment while on agency time or on VA equipment, computer or laptop.”

Battle Tested Poster, USA Today insert, November 9, 2012




The comment period ends on July 25, 2016. Take a minute and comment HERE


Access Anesthesiology!

Access Anesthesiology presented an informational session this year at the AVANA Annual meeting, and is an excellent tool for all clinicians and students. If you go to their website, you can purchase a 1-year subscription for $995. Or you can access it from your VA hospital computer for free!

Click HERE to preview it.


This system gives you access to:

  • 25+ texts spanning general anesthesiology and specialty content
    • Mechanical ventilation
    • Pediatric anesthesia
    • Cardiac anesthesia
  • 300+ instructional and procedural videos
  • Quick reference tools including practice guidelines
  • Interactive self-assessment and review resources


Here is a quick overview video:

Want remote access to your institution’s subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on the site at your VA (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen – if you see your institution’s name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution’s subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.



Full Practice Authority Regulation has made it into the Federal Register!

If finalized, the rule would make the VHA consistent with the U.S. military service branches, which allow CRNAs and other APRNs to practice to the full scope of their education and abilities.

Garrett Peterson, Penny Jensen, and Sherry Swearngin
Garrett Peterson, Penny Jensen, and Sherry Swearngin

Here’s the article from Bloomberg News

Here’s the Proposed Regulation

If you are a federal employee, you can comment on the regulation! From the VACO:

“VA employees are entitled to comment as private citizens but you cannot use your official VA title or office. You may identify your function such as RN, CRNA, MD, DO, LPN, LVN, RT, CRT, MT, CLT or whatever career you are in. Just do not identify yourself as a VA employee, supervisor, manager or section chief.

o   Do not comment while on agency time or on VA equipment, computer or laptop.”

Here’s a link to the comment section to forward to friends and family –

The comment period for the rule ends on July 25.

Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs (NOVA) 2016 Legislative Roundtable

On March 19, 2016, Diane Boettger (AVANA President-Elect) and I attended the 2016 Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs Legislative Roundtable. The roundtable serves as a meeting for nursing organizations within and outside the VA along with Veterans Services Organizations to come together to discuss the current legislative efforts of each group.

The following groups were in attendance at the NOVA Roundtable:

  • American Legion7244
  • Disabled American Veterans
  • Paralyzed Veterans of America
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Vietnam Veterans of America
  • American Academy of Nursing
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • American College of Nurse Mid-Wives
  • American Nephrology Nurses Association
  • American Organization of Nurse Executives/American Hospital Association
  • Friends of VA Medical Care and Health Research Coalition
  • Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
  • National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health
  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
  • Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs
  • Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
  • House Committee on Veterans Affairs
  • Department of Veterans Affairs: Office of Nursing Service
  • American Federation of Government Employees

The majority of the roundtable discussed the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act (current issues with access to care), the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (how this is helping homeless veterans across the country), and the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Full Practice Authority Regulation (continuing to move forward through the regulation process and being signed into law). There was overwhelming support for all three of these subjects and their importance for access of care for Americans Veterans.



Garrett Peterson DNP, CRNA, APRN

President: Association of Veterans Affairs Nurse Anesthetists

AANA Mid-Year Assembly

April 2-6, 2016 in Washington, DC

“The AANA Mid-Year Assembly is designed to prepare nurse anesthetists to effectively advocate on Capitol Hill for protecting and advancing CRNA practice and reimbursement. Attendees will develop professional advocacy skills and healthcare policy understanding that promotes leadership at the national level and in professional practice.”



Veterans Affairs CRNA’s who plan on attending the 2016 AANA MYA, please contact Garrett Peterson, AVANA President now if you will be attending to update you on when the House and Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs Meetings will take place.


Here’s the link to the AANA’s web page! AANA MYA