Legislation that matters to you.
The legislative session had just begun when our last newsletter was published and now it is in full swing. Both on a federal and state level, we are seeing healthcare issues still being a priority. A poll released by gallup in November 2018 showed that Healthcare was number 1 in the top 3 issues for voters, followed by the economy and immigration, respectively. The subject of healthcare is extremely broad and encompasses a great multitude of issues, however, we are one part of those issues. It’s important to Americans, specifically Tennesseans, because it is something that affects each and every one of us. As future nurses, we must stay involved and fight for what is right and for what we need as healthcare professionals. We are a large group of people in Tennessee. According to www.tn.gov, there are approximately 90,000 registered nurses in Tennessee practicing either full-time or part-time. Think about the responsibility we have both individually and as a group. Think about the the change and influence we could wield if we all become active!
Don’t forget that April 3, 2019 the Tennessee Nurses Association will be holding the TNA Legislative Summit at War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, TN. The summit is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. - 12:45 pm. Registration and more information can be found at their website: www.tnaonline.org. The Tennessee Student Nurse’s Association board members will be participating, myself included, and we would love for you to come and say hello. I’m always ready and looking to discuss some issues with anyone and everyone!!!
Last thing for you to pay attention to are a few issues on the Tennessee Legislative Agenda. These are issues that you can write, email, phone, etc. your state senator or representative about to express your thoughts. If you ever need help looking at an issue, need some help, and/or want to talk about some issues you can find my contact information on the TSNA website at www.tsnaonline.org/legislative-priorities.
HB1315/SB1468 - Help develop free training for NPs in treating and victims of sexual abuse
HB1350/SB1128 - Requires a report concerning workforce needs to the House and Senate
HB0653/SB0909 - Increases full-time public school nurse positions. Instead of 1 for every 3,000 students it would change to 1 for every 700.
Be the change,
My name is Chad Street and I am your Legislative Director for the Tennessee Student Nurses Association for 2018-2019. I am excited to be involved in TSNA and hope to be able to progress TSNA’s legislative affairs in a positive, beneficial way that helps not only TSNA members but all nursing students and current nurses. If you would like to know more about me please visit the TSNA website and find me under Board of Directors. You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
January, 2019 marks the beginning of the 116th United States Congress. It also marks the 111th Tennessee General Assembly. At the beginning of each two year term, all legislation that has not been enacted into law is considered expired. With that being said, there is not currently (at the time of this writing) any legislation proposed that effects nurses, nursing students or healthcare, however, this will change. Elected officials will be introducing legislation, of which will play a part in our lives as future and current nurses. I encourage you to take an active part in voicing your opinions and beliefs to your State and Federal elected representatives. You will be able to find more information about how to find and contact your elected officials at the end of this article and also at www.tsnaonline.org.
One bill that was introduced last session in Congress that is extremely important to the nursing field was S.2446/H.R.5052 - The Safe Staffing for Nurse and Patient Safety Act of 2018. This bill would require Medicare-participating hospitals to establish a committee, composed of at least 55% direct care nurses, to create nurse staffing plans that are specific to each unit. This committee approach to creating nurse staffing plans recognizes that direct care nurses, working closely with managers, are best equipped to determine the staffing levels for their patients. Without appropriate RN staffing, patients risk longer hospital stays, increased infections, avoidable medication errors, falls, injuries, and even death.
The Safe Staffing for Nurse and Patient Safety Act considers:
You can read this and more at the American Nurses Association website or reading the bill. This bill is now dead due to the end of the legislative session, however, I believe that it will be introduced again into this Congress.
Get involved and contact your elected representatives on the federal level regarding their involvement with this issue. Ask that they reintroduce the legislation and/or support it when it does get introduced.
To reach your elected officials click the button below to take you to our page that provides you all the info you need.
Remember, we are stronger together. If we all join in and voice our needs as members of a valued profession then we will have great success and make not only our lives better but also the lives of our patients.
Click the Email Chad button on the right to reach out. Let me know how I can best serve you.