Current Legislation Affecting Alabama Nurses: June 7, 2019

For 106 years Alabama nurses of all specialties have benefited from the advocacy of their fellow nurses who were ASNA members. ASNA takes issues that are important to you and, through the power of many, gives members a STRONG VOICE. The following are bills/issues enacted with ASNA’s support during the 2019 Alabama Legislative Session.

SB = SENATE BILL / HB = HOUSE BILL / ASNA = ALA STATE NURSES ASSOCIATION / ABN = ALA BOARD OF NURSING

  1. COMPACT STATE - YOU CAN NOW HAVE ONE LICENSE AND PRACTICE IN MANY STATES
    SB 38 – ABN may enter the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact as a means of providing nurses a choice to have a state only license or opt for an interstate practice ENLC license. Effective January 2020.
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  2. NURSE SAFETY - YOU CAN BE SAFER FROM ASSAULT IN YOUR PRACTICE SETTING
    HJR37 – Joint Resolution posting a WARNING in clinical waiting areas that assaulting a nurse is a FELONY.
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  3. YOU CAN APPLY FOR STUDENT LOAN REPAYMENT FOR UP TO 5 YEARS AFTER GRADUATION
    SB37 – APRN’S who want to practice in underserved areas of the state (including some urban areas) may apply with the ABN for thousands $$$ to repay student loans associated with your APRN education.
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  4. NURSES WILL BE IMMUNE FROM CRIMINAL OR CIVIL LIABILITY (For doing your job!) WHEN YOU REPORT GUN SHOT or VIOLENCE RELATED WOUNDS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT.
    HB288 – Provides that the nurse making the report be immune from criminal or civil liability.
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  5. CRNA’S CAN NOW BE DIRECTLY REIMBURSED FOR SERVICES
    HB245 – Clarifies the definition of CRNA’s under the law/rules, so that CRNA’s CAN be directly reimbursed by insurers for services.

  6. PATIENT TRANSPORTATION VOLUNTEERS OF NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS WILL HAVE LAWSUIT IMMUNITY
    SB 138 – Provides civil immunity for volunteers of non-profits providing transportation services for patients.

  7. A SCHOOL NURSE FOR EVERY SCHOOL SYSTEM!
    SB199 – Provides funding in the Education Trust Fund for more school nurses.
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  8. STUDENTS PRE-CERTIFIED BY A NURSE MAY SELF ADMINISTER CERTAIN MEDICATIONS
    HB32 - Prescribed auto injectable may be self administered in approved circumstances in school settings.
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  9. HOSPICE AND HOME HEALTH NURSES
    The exemption for public health nurses can now be extended to hospice and home health nurses regarding the medication re-packing law. Ala Code 34-23-1(24) is now interpreted to mean that nurses can remove medication from prescription bottles and place them in other distribution (M,T,W,TH,F,S,SU) containers.
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  10. OTHER AL ADVOCACY AND PRACTICE ISSUES:
  • Full Practice Authority for APRNs: ASNA has taken the lead in establishing an APRN Steering Committee to develop a strategy to ultimately promote a bill that will grant full practice authority to APRNs. The Steering Committee will establish a Working Group inclusive of many stakeholders such as; The Alabama Hospital Association, The Alabama Department of Public Health, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, Alabama Rural Health initiative and of course, APRN organizations.
  • Rural Health: Some estimate that 12 to 16 Alabama rural hospitals will have to close in 2019. ASNA is collaborating with the Hospital Association and other stakeholders to promote FUNDING and access to care for Alabama’s rural areas. The primary driver of needed funding would be through Medicaid expansion.
  • Improving Physical And Mental Health Needs In Prisons And Detention Centers
  • Healthy Nurse Awareness Initiative: Nurse specific holistic diet, exercise and lifestyle program designed by the American Nurses Association
  • Supporting Early Career Nurse Resilience By Promoting Civility, Ethics And The Importance Of Participating In One’s Professional Association.
  • Advocating For Nurse Pay Be Raised To The Average Levels Of Southeastern States For Equivalent Practice, Education And Experience
Governor Ivey signs Alabama Enhanced Nursing Licensure bill into law with ASNA officers and ABN members.
Peggy Benson, CEO of ABN, Dr. Sarah Wilkinson-Buchmann, President ASNA, Representative April Weaver, Dr. Linda Gibson-Young, Vice President ASNA.
ASNA President, Dr. Sarah Wilkinson-Buchmann interviewed by the press after the governor’s signing of the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact bill.