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A collaborative practice agreement (CPA) is an agreement between a nurse practitioner (NP) and a physician that allows the NP to provide healthcare services such as diagnosis, treatment, and prescription of medications without direct supervision.

In Virginia, NPs must enter into a CPA with a licensed physician in order to practice. The CPA outlines the scope of practice for the NP, including the types of services they are authorized to provide and any restrictions on their practice. The CPA also specifies the frequency and nature of collaboration between the NP and physician.

Collaborative practice agreements are beneficial for both NPs and physicians. For NPs, they provide a level of independence and autonomy in their practice while still allowing for collaboration and consultation with a physician. For physicians, they offer support and assistance in managing patient care, especially in areas where they may have a shortage of physicians.

As of July 2020, Virginia has updated its laws to allow NPs to practice without a CPA after five years of full-time practice or 9,000 hours of clinical practice under a CPA. However, many NPs still choose to enter into a CPA as it provides a level of support and collaboration that can benefit their patients.

Collaborative practice agreements are also important for ensuring quality care for patients. By working in partnership with a physician, NPs are better able to provide comprehensive care and address any complex medical issues that may arise. The physician can provide guidance and support for diagnosis and treatment, while the NP can offer their unique perspective and expertise in patient care.

In conclusion, a collaborative practice agreement is a crucial aspect of nurse practitioner practice in Virginia. It provides NPs with the opportunity to practice independently while still collaborating with a physician to ensure the highest quality of care for their patients. As an NP in Virginia, it is important to understand the requirements for entering into a CPA and to consider the benefits of collaborating with a physician in your practice.