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.