[TAKE ACTION] Clash on VHA Nurse Oversight

“Clash on VHA Nurse Oversight”

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.”

Let’s educate Congress and stand together,



[LEGISLATIVE ACTION] APRNs & Durable Medical Equipment

ImageWe did it once, but now we need to make it permanent. Last year, we celebrated postponing the enforcement of the required physician’s signature for APRNs to order durable medical equipment (DME).

Here’s the catch.

It was a postponement without a firm date. So, at some point in 2014, APRNs will no longer be able to order DME without a physician’s signature. The Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services delay was a step in the right direction, but now we need a new plan.

That’s where H.R. 3833 comes in.

Congressman  (D-WA) just introduced legislation to eliminate the physician required signature for ordering DME. His bill would remedy the current DME face-to-face requirement and allow providers, such as APRNs, to document that the face-to-face encounter was completed.

Your member of Congress needs to hear from you. Contact your Representative now and urge them to co-sponsor this legislation and allow APRNs to do their job!


[PATIENT ACTION NETWORK] Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate

Congress has returned to work after closing out 2013 with positive momentum towards repealing Medicare’s flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. Lawmakers passed separate legislative proposals in key committees in the House and Senate that would finally repeal the SGR and fix Medicare for patients.

Bipartisan negotiations over those legislative proposals are now underway. Congress will effectively be in session for just six weeks from now until March 31. 

It is time for Congress to bring repeal of the SGR across the finish line before payment cuts threaten physicians and patients once again. 

Tell Congress that patients must see action on repealing the SGR before March 31

You can send an email to your representative and senators or place a phone call today via the ANAs toll-free grassroots hotline at (888) 434-6200

Urge lawmakers to reinvigorate bipartisan efforts to repeal the SGR and ensure that progress does not stall before March 31. 

Be sure to visit FixMedicareNow.org for the latest information and resources on the AMA’s campaign to engage physicians, patients and policymakers in the effort to repeal the flawed Medicare SGR formula and achieve reform that will transform Medicare into an effective, 21st century model of care.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:

[NURSE ADVOCACY] ANA & Nursing Workforce Development

Title VIII – Nursing Workforce Development

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.

See if your Member Signed »

About The Issue

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.

Read more »


Title VIII Fact Sheet (6/2013)

Senate letter regarding FY14 Title VIII funding (4/26/2013)

House of Representatives letter regarding FY14 Title VIII funding (4/19/2013)

ANA’s Testimony before Labor HHS Committee (3/15/13)

Nursing Community FY 2013 Brochure

Nursing Community FY 2013 Budget Overview

[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.


Cause a Raucus ’til They Join the Caucus!

ImageIs your Congressional Representative signed up for the House Nursing Caucus?

In order to have a platform on Capitol Hill to address the issues that impact the nursing profession most, Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA) and David Joyce (R-OH) have established a bi-partisan Congressional Nursing Caucus. The Nursing Caucus allows Members of Congress an open forum to learn about and address a range of issues affecting the nursing community.

Review the list of current Caucus Members… if your Representative is not listed, urge them to join by taking action and calling them, or  sending them a letter!

[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