A Message From the ASNA President: A Look Back At Our Amazing Year

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Hello fellow Alabama nurses! This has been a full and productive year and ASNA continues to promote nursing as the voice for Alabama Nurses.

Our Busy Year

The beginning of the year, we celebrated a triumph for our nursing profession across the nation when the Veterans Affairs amended their medical regulations to allow full practice authority for nurse practitioners (NPs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) and certified nurse midwives (CNMs) within the VA health system. This was a victory for the nursing profession and for Veterans.

ASNA collaborated with the Alabama Coalition of Nursing Organizations to organize Nurses’ Day at the Capitol in Montgomery. Hundreds of nurses and nursing students gathered at the capitol steps. It was impressive to see the crowd of nurses showing our politicians that we stand together as a nursing profession. Make sure to save the date for 2018’s Nurses’ Day at the Capitol!

FACES ’17 was another successful event that attracted over 400 nurses and students to participate in learning, presentations, and networking. During Nurse’s Week, ASNA was well represented at events across the state. ASNA participated in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) ENGAGE event and the UAB Nurse’s Night Out event held at Railroad Park. Each district participated in Nurse’s Week events to recognizing nurses, showing appreciation for all that nurses do, and recruiting members to join YOUR professional organization!

During the month of June, ASNA representatives attended the American Nurses Association (ANA) Membership Assembly (MA) and Hill Day at the Capitol in Washington D.C. We spent the day meeting with politicians voicing our concerns regarding health care reform and advocating for other important legislative and policy issues that impact nurses. We supported the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act, S. 445 that allows NPs, CNSs, and CNMs to write orders for a patient’s eligibility for home health care services. This removes the Medicare requirement for a physician to certify the need for these services.

We also supported the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2017. This supports programs and nursing practice in rural and underserved communities. This Act also supports advanced nursing education, grants, loan forgiveness, and geriatric education.

The ASNA representatives that attended ANA MA were:

  • John Ziegler, Executive Director ASNA
  • Rebecca Huie, President ASNA
  • Sarah Wilkinson, President-Elect ASNA
  • Debra Litton, President ASNA District #3

Annual Convention Community Service Project

Each year, ASNA supports a community service project at the annual convention. This year we provided education regarding domestic violence and received donations to support the women and children of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). Domestic violence (DV) is a crime that is more prevalent than many may realize. That is why it is so important that nurses are educated to recognize the signs of DV, know how to communicate with the victim, and how to get the victim help. Thank you to everyone who attended.

If you are interested in donating to YWCA, please visit their website for a list of needed items.

Year of the Healthy Nurse

2017 has been designated by ANA as the “Year of the Healthy Nurse”. As nurses, we are caretakers. We care for our patients and our families. We are dedicated to our careers and put so much time and energy into everything else that we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves.

Many nurses work in an extremely stressful environment that requires mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual energy. We work various hours and shifts that cause sleep disturbances or lack of sleep. Some nurses work in an environment that requires heavy lifting or moving of patients that could lead to musculoskeletal injuries. Others may work in a stressful, but sedentary, role that can lead to ergonomic injuries as well as weight gain.

Whatever position you work in, we all need to be role models for our patients, families, and staff and lead a healthier lifestyle. But most importantly, we need to strive to be healthier for our own quality of life.

ASNA signed up to accept the challenge and we encourage all nurses to take small steps toward a healthier lifestyle.  Visit this link http://www.nursingworld.org/HealthyNurse-HealthyNation to set up your own personal profile and take the survey. This will provide you with a personalized dashboard to track your progress toward a healthier lifestyle and connect you with others that have the same goals. Listed below are the monthly topical focuses for a healthier lifestyle:

Month Topic
January Worksite Wellness and Worker Well-Being
February Cardiovascular Health
March Nutrition
April Combatting Stress
May Women’s Health
National Fitness and Sports Month
June Men’s Health
Cancer Awareness
Skin Health
July Healthy Sleep
August Happiness
September Recovery
Work-Life Balance
October Infection Control
Immunizations
Moral Resilience/Moral Distress
November Mental Health
Wellness
December Healthy Eating/Healthy Holidays

www.nursingworld.org/yearofhealthynurse

 

Health Care Reform

As you all are aware, this year has been filled with uncertainty, concern, and skepticism, disappointment and triumph regarding health care reform. Regardless of your point of view, the Senate rejected the final repeal amendment on July 28, 2017. That does not mean the debate for reforming health care in the United States is over.

As a nurse professional, your voice matters in regard to the health care reform and legislative issues that impact our nursing profession and healthcare delivery. I encourage each of you to stay informed and let your voice be heard. Write your legislators and senators and let them know what you think about these issues. We are at the frontline of providing care for our patients every day.

We spend more time with the patient than any other healthcare discipline and we are the MOST TRUSTED PROFESSION! Our voices matter and we have the power to influence change.

 

Thank you for all that you do each and every day!

Rebecca Huie, DNP, RN, ACNP, VHA-CM 
President, Alabama State Nurses Association