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By our Texas AWHONN Legislative Representative:  Sybil Momii, MSN, RNC-OB

 

 Texas Nurse Day at the Capitol, Feb. 27-28, 2017AWHONN_Legislative.png

 

Texas AWHONN is a member of the Nursing Legislative Agenda Coalition (NLAC), which sponsored the TNA’s Texas Nurse Day at the Capitol, Feb. 27-28, 2017. Your AWHONN Legislative representatives are Sybil Momii of Austin and Megan Raleigh of Ft. Worth.

 

Hundreds of nursing colleagues from across the state attended training and visited with legislators and their staff to communicate nursing’s legislative agenda for the 85th session. The Senate and House of Representatives, who declared February 28th as Texas Nurses Day, also honored us! We will follow the progress of these bills weekly throughout the session and will lobby for their adoption. You can track them, too, by logging on to www.capitol.state.tx.us/ then click on Legislation to follow specific bills.

 

85th Legislative Session Agenda

 

Here are some of the legislative agenda items our coalition presented to the Legislature:

  1. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), including CNMs:

            Sponsored bills SB 431, SB 433, HB 1415/SB 681

            APRNs are required to sign an agreement with a physician to prescribe           medications, and often have to pay the equivalent of an extra mortgage     payment per month to do so. NLAC recommends increasing access to care for Texans by removing unnecessary barriers to practice for APRNs.

  1. Mental Health:

            Sponsored bills HB392/SB 220, HB 1153

            Mental health is a serious issue across the state, and the Legislature should     support mental health services by prohibiting weapons in mental health facilities, creating a statewide reporting system for injuries that occur in       mental health facilities, funding more inpatient care for patients, and funding           community-based mental health services.

  1. Nurse Education:

            HB1/SB1

            The Nursing Shortage Reduction Program (NSRP) provides incentive funding          to institutions that increase nursing graduates. In the 84th legislative session,       $33.75 million was appropriated to the NSRP. Given the severity of the       nursing shortage in Texas, NLAC recommends continuing this program with          the same appropriation.

            The Nursing Faculty Loan Repayment Program provides an incentive for      nurses to accept faculty positions in nursing schools. Without a dedicated          funding stream, the program will be ineffective in addressing the looming         nursing shortage. NLAC recommends a dedicated stream of revenue to      resolve this issue.

  1. Regulatory:

            The Board of Nursing (BON) is undergoing Sunset Review. The Sunset Staff             has done a tremendous job of highlighting the relevant issues, and NLAC supports each recommendation in the sunset report. We look forward to working with the Board and the Legislature to implement these priorities.

  1. School Nurses:

            SB 196, SB673/HB1847, HB1044, HB1076/SB 850

            School nurses are the first line of caregivers for children with existing or          developing health issues. NLAC encourages the Legislature to use these     caregivers as effectively and efficiently as possible to ensure that our most      vulnerable population has access to the care they need.

  1. Workplace Advocacy:

            HB 280

            There are opportunities this session to improve workplace safety for health     care providers. The Legislature should consider the recent study on        workplace violence against nurses in Texas and support the efforts of            healthcare facilities to implement safety measures.

  1. Child Safety:

            HB 519/SB 278

            Children under the age of two are 75% less likely to be killed or suffer severe    injuries in a car crash if they are in a rear-facing seat. NLAC supports efforts     to require children under two years old to ride in a rear-facing car seat.      

 

Other Health Care Coalitions

  1. Texas Women’s Health Coalition:

            NLAC supports strengthening Women’s Health Programs, improving access            to contraceptives, and minimizing barriers to preventative care.

  1. Public Health:

            HB 62/SB 31, SB 183/SB 228

            NLAC supports public health initiatives that will benefit Texans and lower     state healthcare expenditures. The Legislature should protect our youths by       improving the quality of health education in schools and raising the           minimum age of tobacco sales from 18 to 21. The Legislature should support          communicable disease prevention by ensuring parents have the right to             know about school vaccination exemption rates, requiring influenza    vaccination, and improving access to the safety-net immunization program.       Finally, the Legislature should eliminate needless accidents by banning          texting while driving.

 

NLAC members:

Association of Operating Room Nurses of Greater Houston

AWHONN

Central Texas Chapter American Association Neuroscience Nurses

Coalition for Nurses in Advanced Practice

Consortium of Texas Certified Nurse Midwives

Houston Chapter Oncology Nursing Society

Houston Organization of Nurse Executives

Licensed Vocational Nurses Association of Texas

Texas Association of Deans & Directors of Professional Nursing Programs

Texas Association of Vocational Nurse Educators

Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice

Texas Clinical Nurse Specialists

Texas Collaboration of PeriOperative Nurses

Texas Emergency Nurses Association

Texas Nurses Association

Texas Nurse Practitioners

Texas Nursing Students’ Association

Texas Organization of Associate Degree Nurses

Texas Organization of Baccalaureate & Graduate Nurse Educators

Texas Organization of Nurse Executives

Texas School Nurses Organization

 

Respectfully submitted,

Sybil Momii, MSN, RNC-OB

Texas AWHONN Legislative Representative

Sybil.momii@gmail.com

                       


 

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