Did you see? On January 26, 2014 the Wall Street Journal published an article that is making headlines. The article opened by saying “The Veterans Health Administration is taking heavy fire from doctor groups over a proposal to let nurses with advanced training practice medicine without physician supervision throughout the VHA system—even in states where laws require more oversight.”
Along with 40 other nursing organizations, ANA stands behind this change. Nurses are rising up across the country to let their Member of Congress know this is important to us. Please urge your Representative to support VHA’s recent change in their Nursing Handbook.
We need your voice!
Unfortunately, more than 60 physicians groups and a handful of Members of Congress have signed letters to the Department of Veterans Affairs expressing “strong concerns” that the proposed new nursing handbook would “effectively eliminate physician-led team-based care within the VHA system.”
Even the Secretary of the Veterans Administration, Secretary Eric Shinseki, who credits a nurse with saving his foot when physicians wanted to amputate it in Vietnam, says the change “will increase access to care and ensure continuation of the highest quality care for our nation’s veterans.”
“Because of this law, no American can ever again be dropped or denied coverage for a preexisting condition like asthma, back pain, or cancer. No woman can ever be charged more just because she’s a woman.” –President Barack Obama, January 28, 2014
This past Tuesday, President Obama gave his annual State of the Union. Millions of Americans across the country tuned in to hear the President’s speech. Some Americans were jumping to their feet in applause and others yelling at the flickering screen in front of them.
In 2012, 3,374 brave men and women in our military reported an incident of sexual assault.
It is estimated that 26,000 sexual assaults happened in our armed services last year.
This means only an abysmal 13% of cases in the military are reported, compared to 40% reported in civilian cases.*
Why the discrepancy?
The issue of reporting in the military is complicated but heightened awareness with skilled professionals and targeted programs will increase the likelihood of reporting.
We believe, sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) are an integral part of the solution.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would establish training requirements for sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) performing examinations of victims in the military. Introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), these provisions would ensure SANEs be available at every military facility so that victims receive an examination within 24-hours of an assault. ANA along with twelve other health organizations sent a letter to Senator Boxer expressing support for this amendment.
It is time for you to ensure victims of sexual assault have access to safe, quality examinations. Please write your Senator and ask them to include the Boxer amendment today.
In April, 2013, both the House and Senate circulated a “Dear Colleague” to urge Congress to make a strong commitment to Nurse Workforce Development Programs included in Title VIII funding. The House letter was signed by 84 members, which is 27 more than last year. 27 Senators signed the letter, which is one more Senator than last year. The letter requested these critical programs be funded at $251 million for Fiscal Year 2014.
Title VIII programs address each aspect of nursing shortages- education, practice, retention, and recruitment. The programs provide the largest source of federal funding for nursing education, offering financial support for nursing education programs, individual students, and nurses.
Title VIII programs bolster nursing education from entry-level preparation through graduate study, favoring institutions that educate nurses for practice in rural and medically underserved communities. According to HRSA, these programs provided loans, scholarships, and programmatic support to over 70,000 nursing students and nurses in FY 2009.