Nurse Practitioners: meeting the needs of rural Veterans


VA strives to deliver high-quality, compassionate health care to Veterans across America. We’ve taken great strides to ensure patients living in rural areas have access to a range of care options to best meet their health care needs. Due to VA’s recent “scope of practice” laws—which grant advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) full practice authority—certified nurse practitioners are stepping in to provide primary care to patients in rural areas.

Currently, nurse practitioners account for 1 in 4 medical providers in rural practices—a 43.2% increase from 2008 to 2016. Their advanced training and ability to diagnose and prescribe medicine enables more efficient, cost-effective health care delivery. Joyce Knestrick, president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), says “NPs are one of the most significant factors in expanding patient access to primary, acute and specialty care, especially at a time when demand is high and physicians remain concentrated in more urban and affluent areas.”

More and more, nurse practitioners are taking on a significant role in the health care of Veterans in rural areas. Their growing presence demonstrates the wealth of experience, growth and impact available to nurses interested in advancing their careers. Bring your nursing expertise to VA and discover a career in which your capabilities are utilized to the fullest extent—and consider a future serving our honorable Veterans living in rural areas. You’ll enjoy a satisfying quality of life unmatched by metropolitan areas, with all the same comprehensive benefits offered across the VA system. To get started, explore open positions near you and apply.


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  1. Spell check    

    Excellent work i really appreciate it.

  2. Pearl    

    Great work. God Bless.


    The process of identifying “rural areas” would benefit those of us Veterans who reside in excess of 100 miles from a central VHA, although a medical clinic may be within the 40 mile range.

    Just wondering what makes a rural area a rural area in the eyes of the VHA.

    1. Karthik Sexologist    

      May be by Rural, they mean, where facilities / access is not as much as in downtown or a major city?

      1. Veterans Health Administration    

        VA uses the Rural-Urban Commuting Areas (RUCA) system to define rurality. The RUCA system takes into account population density as well as how closely a community is linked socio-economically to larger urban centers. Find out about how VA defines rural Veterans and the challenges they face here:
        In some cases, Veterans may need to receive care from a local community care provider, paid for by VA. Community care is when a Veteran’s VA care team determines the Veteran should be referred to a community provider and VA would pay for the cost of that care based on certain conditions and eligibility requirements. Availability of VA services within your geographic area can also determine eligibility for Community Care. Please contact your local VA health care facility for individual Veteran eligibility questions or concerns. For more information on VA Community Care, visit

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