[LEGISLATION] H.R. 3723: Viral Hepatitis Testing Act of 2013

H.R. 3723: Viral Hepatitis Testing Act of 2013

To amend the Public Health Service Act to revise and extend the program for viral hepatitis surveillance, education, and testing in order to prevent deaths from chronic liver disease and liver cancer, and for other purposes.

Thank you to the newest Cosponsors.  Please thank your legislators for supporting legislation that YOU believe in.  If they are not listed as Cosponsors, touch base with them and let you know what you support.  Your voice goes a long way towards creating change.


Explore the full text:  https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr3723/text

Take time to thank our supporters, or voice your thoughts to your representatives.

Need help finding your legislators?

Find your representatives: http://www.opencongress.org/people/zipcodelookup


U.S. Representative Lois Capps Introduces Safe Staffing for Nurses Legislation

Earlier this year, U.S. Representative Lois Capps (D-CA), a nurse, introduced bi-partisan legislation allowing nurses to have a safer work environment. Congresswoman Capps, along with U.S. Representative David Joyce (R-OH), introduced the “Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2013,” HR 1821. The bill is currently in discussion with the Committee on Energy and Commerce and is also being read at the Committee on Ways and Means. 

The primary goal of the bill is to provide for patient protection by establishing safe nurse staffing levels at certain Medicare providers. The bill enumerates many well known facts about workplace safety for nurses, patients, and hospitals. Some include

  • Research shows that patient safety in hospitals is directly proportionate to the number of RNs working in the hospital. Higher staffing levels by experienced RNs are related to lower rates of negative patient outcomes.
  • A 2011 study on nurse staffing and inpatient hospital mortality shows that sub-optimal nurse staffing is linked with a greater likelihood of patient death in the hospital. A 2012 study of serious patient events reported to the Joint Commission demonstrates that one of the leading causes of all hospital sentinel events is human factors, including staffing and staffing skill mix.
  • Healthcare worker fatigue has been identified as a major patient safety hazard, and appropriate staffing policies and practices are indicated as an effective strategy to reduce healthcare worker fatigue and to protect patients. A national survey of RNs found that 74% experience acute or chronic effects of stress and overwork.
  • A 2012 study of Pennsylvania hospitals shows that by reducing nurse burnout, which is attributed in part to poor nurse staffing, those hospitals could prevent an estimated 4,160 infections with an associated savings of $41,000,000. That study also found that for each additional patient assigned to an RN for care, there is an incidence of roughly one additional catheter-acquired urinary tract infection per 1,000 patients, or 1,351 infections per year, costing those hospitals as much as $1,100,000 annually.
  • When hospitals employ insufficient numbers of nursing staff, RNs are being required to perform professional services under conditions that do not support quality health care or a healthful work environment for RNs.

The bill also establishes certain levels of safety for nurse staffing at Medicare participating hospitals. Each participating hospital shall implement a hospital-wide staffing plan for nursing services furnished in the hospital, through which a nursing staff committee will help develop. 

The inclusive committee will “conduct regular, ongoing monitoring of the implementation of the hospital-wide staffing plan for nursing services furnished in the hospital; carry out evaluations of the hospital-wide staffing plan for nursing services at least annually; and make such modifications to the hospital-wide staffing plan for nursing services as may be appropriate.”

There is yet to be a companion bill in the U.S. Senate, but as the bill moves forward, ONS will keep its members apprised of the legislation.



[IN THE NEWS] Nurse Practitioners Lobby for Guaranteed Participation in Health Insurance Marketplaces

Nurse practitioners lobby for guaranteed participation in health insurance marketplaces

Nurse practitioners say efforts to expand primary care to millions of Americans under the health law are hampered by insurance industry practices that limit or exclude their participation.

[LEGISLATIVE UPDATE] H.R. 1339: Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act


H.R. 1339: Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act

To amend the Public Health Service Act to increase the number of permanent faculty in palliative care at accredited allopathic and osteopathic medical schools, nursing schools, and other programs, to promote education in palliative care and hospice, and to support the development of faculty careers in academic palliative medicine.

New Cosponsor: Rep. Carol Shea-Porter [D-NH1]

Thank you to our newest Cosponsor.  Please thank your legislators for supporting legislation that YOU believe in.  If they are not listed as Cosponsors, touch base with them and let you know what you support.  Your voice goes a long way towards creating change.

Explore the full text:  http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr1339/text

Track this bill:  http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr1339?utm_campaign=govtrack_email_update&utm_source=govtrack/email_update&utm_medium=email

Take time to thank our supporters, or voice your thoughts to your representatives.

Need help finding your legislators?

Find your representatives: http://www.opencongress.org/people/zipcodelookup

[LEGISLATIVE UPDATE] Thank You! We succeeded!


Thank you for writing your Member of Congress about the importance of Title VIII funding, which supports critical nurse workforce development programs. Writing your Representatives is not only critical in the democratic process, but allows the nursing profession to speak as a united voice and advocate for the issues that affect us most.

Your letters must have been read, because a few weeks ago President Obama introduced a budget for 2014, which included $251 million for Title VIII Programs, an approximately $20 million increase over the President’s previous budget proposals. Thank you for your efforts on this important issue. While we will continue undoubtedly to fight some tough battles in the future, this is a victory that I hope you will join us in celebrating. Thanks for all that YOU do.

To see which other health programs were funded, please read the full press release.


[GET INVOLVED] Video Tutorial Series for Nurse Advocates

“When it comes to legislation that would impact nurses, American Nurses Association plays a key role in advocating for sound public policy. However, ANA cannot impact Washington legislators alone. Without input from YOU and our grassroots community, nurses are at risk of losing critical government funding and not being included in legislation that effects the delivery of health services. In 3 simple steps, ensure YOUR voice will be heard in Washington!’ ~ANA

[LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY] Remove Barriers that Prevent Advanced Practice Registered Nurses From Practicing to Their Full Scope

Signatories Needed on White House Petition to Support APRNs – Deadline: April 22, 2013 Image

Please circulate this email widely to your colleagues, fellow students, and friends.  Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) currently have barriers to practice, which include requirements for being supervised by or having a collaborative agreement with a physician, inability to admit patients into hospice or home health, and restrictions on prescription of controlled drugs. This petition is circulating to ask the Obama administration to remove barriers that prevent APRNs from practicing to their full scope.

One hundred thousand signatures are needed by April 22, 2013 to ensure a response from the White House. So far, there are a little over 18,500 signatories. Please take a moment out of your busy schedule to consider adding your signature to the petition.


[LEGISLATIVE UPDATE] S.Res. 60: A resolution supporting women’s reproductive health.


S.Res. 60: A resolution supporting women’s reproductive health.

New Cosponsor: Sen. Max Baucus [D-MT]

New Cosponsor: Sen. Robert “Bob” Menéndez [D-NJ]

View the full text:


Need help finding your legislators?

Find your representatives: http://www.opencongress.org/people/zipcodelookup

[TAKE ACTION] Call Governor Cuomo and tell him: Ban fracking now.

ImageIn February, we won a small victory in the fight to ban fracking in New York: Governor Cuomo’s administration announced that it would take more time to decide whether to open New York to fracking, saying it needed more time to study the health impacts of fracking.1

Governor Cuomo’s administration announced that the state’s health impact study will be completed “in the next few weeks,” paving the way for Governor Cuomo to make a decision on fracking in New York.2

That means now is a vitally important time to continue to make our voices heard and to urge the governor to ban fracking. We need to inundate Governor Cuomo with calls to make it clear that New York needs a ban on fracking. Even one well, anywhere in the state, is unacceptable.

If it weren’t for the pressure we’ve put on Governor Cuomo to ban fracking, New York would already be experiencing the same toxic contamination as Pennsylvania, Texas, Colorado, and other states where fracking is happening. But our unrelenting pressure has made it politically impossible for the governor to proceed with fracking, and forced him to repeatedly delay his decision.

Governor Cuomo can go down in history as the governor who, in the wake of the worst fossil-fueled superstorm New York has ever seen, stood up to the fossil fuel industry by banning fracking. It’s up to us to  him to make the right choice.

Call Governor Cuomo and tell him to ban fracking. Click below for a sample script and the number to call:

1. Jon Campbell, “Health review needs ‘additional time’; Fracking deadline expected to be missed (UPDATED),” Politics on the Hudson, February 12, 2013
2. Michael Gormley, “NY will make health call on gas drilling in weeks,” Associated Press, March 11, 2013

[TAKE ACTION] Tell Congress to Fund Critical Nursing Programs!

Tell Congress to Fund Critical Nursing Programs!Image

  • 4,129 fewer nurses and nursing students will be supported by Nursing Workforce Development programs.
  • 1,011 fewer trainees will be in the Advanced Education Nursing and Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship.
  • 978 fewer nurses, nursing students, faculty, and other health professionals delivering care to the elderly, disabled, and chronically ill who are supported by the Title VIII Comprehensive Geriatric Education program. [1]

These numbers are simply too high. In 2004 we worked tirelessly to increase funds for Title VIII, which funds workforce development programs, and we succeeded by getting the largest single year increase of 26% in over 30 years. We cannot go back. The implications are far reaching and would devastate access and quality of care and hinder those nurses who are working to move up in their careers.

On March 6, the United States House of Representatives passed a post-sequestration bill (HR 933) which provides funding for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. Unfortunately, Title VIII was cut by $11.7 million below the 2012 funding levels, proposing funding at $219.4 million for FY 2013.This legislation will now be considered in the Senate. Overall funding for Health and Human Services will likely carry on as a Continuing Resolution. It is time to come together and tell Congress to save these critical programs. The 5% cut in sequestration will already impact our work. Tell Congress not to cut any more Title VIII funds in the budget process.

Take Action:  https://secure3.convio.net/ana/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=411&JServSessionIdr004=rdd80t0it1.app305b&ct=1

For more information on the Budget and Sequestration, visit: http://www.rnaction.org/site/PageNavigator/nstat_ndd_sequestration.html

P.S. ANA is committed to making sure that the voice of nursing is heard loud and clear in Washington, DC. Click here to learn more about how ANA Members can affect change in Washington.

[1] Nursing Community. (2013) Sequestration: Examining the Impact on America’s Nursing Workforce. Accessed March 14, 2013 from http://www.nursingworld.org/SequestrationFactsheet.pdf