ASNA’s Legal Program: A Prime Benefit for Members

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by Don Eddins, JD

Registered nurses often ask me about the Alabama State Nurses’ Association legal program. Really, it should be classified as two programs.

Consultations

An ASNA member is entitled to a free one-hour’s consultation per year on any subject that the ASNA attorney – myself – feels qualified to discuss. Probate matters, domestic relations, accidents, job issues – whatever legal issue the nurse  wants to discuss. Often just a talk with an attorney on an important matter can lead to resolution and peace of mind.

Alabama Board of Nursing

The second part of the legal program provides that if a nurse receives a letter from the Alabama Board of Nursing (BON) indicating that the nurse’s license is under investigation, the ASNA lawyer will represent the nurse on the matter without charge.The stipulation is that the nurse must be an ASNA member when the act that led to the investigation occurred. It’s sort of like automobile insurance. You can’t wait until the accident occurs and then go purchase insurance to cover it. Frequently, I discuss licensure matters with non-members, but if I represent them, that representation is not free. So sign up before you get that dreaded letter from the BON.

Sitting across the desk from me, nurses have told me that they never thought their license would be on the line in connection with a BON investigation. But the truth is anyone can make a mistake. And often the investigation is not really related to an error or omission by the nurse. I’ve done cases in which a patient’s family did not get the outcome that they desired, so they blamed in on the physician, the medication facility and/or the attending registered nurse.

The Bigger Picture

The legal program is just one of so many ways ASNA advocates for registered nurses in Alabama. ASNA monitors to support or oppose BON rules changes, for instance. ASNA fights for you at the Alabama Legislature. Other nursing groups may be for a certain subset of nursing, but ASNA is for all registered nurses.

The legal program is an important benefit in spectrum of advocacy activities the Association is involved in. ASNA is, after all, the state’s oldest and most influential nursing organization. It is important to note, however, that often nurses think because they receive the Alabama Nurse, they are entitled to ASNA benefits. Those membership advantages are only available to nurses who sign up for membership and pay dues each month (or year).

If you are an ASNA member and need such a consultation, call the ASNA office in Montgomery, my office in Auburn at (334) 821-9981 or, better still, email me. If you are not a member, consider joining today.

 

 

Congratulations to VA Nurse, Belinda Cagle

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Belinda Cagle, RN is a two time recipient of the “House Staff Appreciation Award” presented by the Department of Medicine at the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB). The Birmingham VA Medical Center (BVAMC) has a residency program for UAB internal medicine residents for their primary care residency track. This award is in appreciation of exemplary support of the Medicine House Staff and their patients.

The recipient is nominated by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year Residents. This exemplary award was presented to Ms. Cagle during the 2017 annual resident’s dinner. Ms. Cagle began her career at the BVAMC in 2012 on an inpatient unit and she transferred to the Primary Care Red Clinic in 2014. She has always had a passion for nursing and volunteered as a Candy Striper at a local hospital when she was 18 years old. She then participated in one of the fist classes for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) in 1981.

Ms. Cagle has served in the US Army, receiving the Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medical and Expert Marksmanship Ribbon.  She received her Licensed Practical Nurse degree in 1990, Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) in 2011 at Wallace Community College, and graduated from UAB with honors with Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) in December 2013. Ms. Cagle is currently enrolled at Walden University pursuing her Master’s Degree in Leadership and Management Program with expected graduation date of May 2018.

“What is great about working at the VA Medical Center is not only am I a service connected disabled Veteran, but I have the opportunity to assist other Veterans or direct them to where they can receive assistance,” said Cagle.

She says that two of her favorite quotes are: “Anything worth doing is worth doing right” ~ Hunter S. Thompson and “People may not always remember what you say, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” ~ Don Aslett.

The BVAMC appreciates her service and dedication to providing excellent care to the Veterans and the UAB Medical Residents. Thank you to the UAB Medical staff for continuing to support and recognize VA nurses!

Kudos to Districts 3 & 4: Great News All Around

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Alabama State Nurses Association District 3

Kudos to ASNA District 4 and Mobile County Nurses’ Society member Dr. Bobbie Holt Ragler for being featured in “The Appleseed”; Alabama’s Public Library Newspaper.

Dr. Ragler’s eight-week program titled Matter of Balance at the Satusuma, Alabama  Public Library provides participants fall prevention strategies. This program was made available through the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission.

Dr. Ragler will lead our cardio activities at the upcoming ASNA Annual Convention October 5-7, in Hoover.

 

 

And From District 3:

Tawanda Humphrey Takes Great Care of VA Patients!

Our patient care spotlight shines on VA Red Clinic nurse Tawanda Humphrey for the incredible way she managed a clinically unstable patient. When she recognized the veteran’s dangerously high blood pressure, Tawanda immediately called attention to the problem, triaged the patient quickly, and had him seen by one of the residents.

 

We are deeply grateful to work along such professional and dedicated nurses!

Nurses Volunteering In Disaster Areas

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The following suggestions are in part derived from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) of the US Department of Health and Human Services)   

Disasters have the potential to cause emotional distress and as nurses our role is to be cognizant of the most vulnerable which are:

  • Youth and adults working in the impacted area
  • Loved ones of victims
  • First responders, rescue and recovery workers

Stress, anxiety, and depression are common reactions following the disaster. Nurses volunteering in disaster areas need alertness to the following warning symptoms of the survivors affected by the disaster:

  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Stomach aches or headaches
  • Anger, feeling edgy, or lashing out at others
  • Overwhelming sadness
  • A feeling of needing to be busy all the time
  • Worrying much of time but not sure why
  • Lethargy
  • Increased consumption of alcohol, tobacco, & illicit drugs
  • Anorexia or overeating
  • A continuum of not connecting to others to social isolation
  • Feelings that you will never be happy again

Concepts nurses can employ to help disaster victims cope with the stress:

  • Self- care – encourage healthy eating, limiting alcohol, tobacco, & drugs.
  • Get outside if possible – even walking around the block.
  • Reach out to family and friends – talk to them about how you feel
  • Talk to your children – remember the children will probably feel angry, confused, sad, and scared. Let them know it is OK to have these feelings and encourage the children to talk about what is on their mind.
  • Try to limit TV news reports and social media about the disaster.
  • Help the children and teens maintain as normal as a schedule to the extent possible.
  • The adults should role model healthy eating.Encourage sleep hygiene as some will have trouble falling asleep whereas others will keep waking up during the night  Suggestions include to go to bed when ready to sleep and don’t watch TV, use cell phone or lap top in bed.
  • Limit food intake (especially sugar), alcohol, and caffeine at least an hour before bed. If the person wakes up and cannot return to sleep suggest journaling about feelings.Take care of pets or get out into nature as both of these tend to make you feel better  Suggest volunteering at an animal shelter or in the disaster area when appropriate to own area.

Encourage self-help for appropriate Individuals. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 for a Disaster Distress Helpline answered by trained crisis counselors. These lines are available 24 hours/day; 7 days a week. TTY for Deaf or Hearing Impaired: 1-800-846-8517; Spanish Speakers: text “Hablanos” to 66746

ASNA Award Nominations Now Open

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Please read below to see all of the available awards. When you are ready to make your nomination(s), click the button below to download the nomination form. All forms must be emailed to Tyler  by July 15, 2017

 

Download the Nomination Form

 

Awards Criteria and Procedure

  • Awards are for members unless otherwise stated.
  • Any ASNA member, group, or staff may submit nominations.
  • All ASNA awards must be submitted on the ASNA Nominations Form.
  • Award recipients will be selected by the ASNA Awards Committee.
  • Awards will be presented at the ASNA Convention.

 

Lillian B. Smith Award

Lillian B. Smith was the Executive Director of the Alabama State Nurses Association from 1940 to 1968. She always gave above and beyond the call of duty for nurses and nursing in Alabama. She was recognized and respected for her commitment to improving health care in Alabama by other health care providers.

To be awarded to a member who has demonstrated long-term commitment to ASNA and the nursing profession. This commitment demonstrates activities above and beyond usual responsibilities at the local level.

  1. Evidence of long term commitment to ASNA
    • Years of membership
    • ASNA activities
    • District, county and/or state level activities
  2. Other professional activities
  3. Community involvement
  4. Other supporting documentation and comments

 

D.O. McClusky Award

D.O. McClusky was the Administrator of Druid City Hospital from 1946 to 1976. Mr. McClusky was always the leader in assuring that nurses had good working conditions. He believed if nursing had good working conditions they could give better nursing care. He was also very supportive of the Alabama State Nurses Association.

To be awarded to a healthcare administrator who has demonstrated outstanding support of nurses and nursing during the past year. ASNA Membership is not required.

  1. Evidence that the nominee is the chief executive officer, chief nursing officer, or other administrator of the healthcare agency
  2. Evidence of involvement with or on behalf of nursing
  3. Evidence of involvement with/for:
    • Specific hospital or agency
    • Local nursing organization
    • State nursing organization
    • Nursing or healthcare in general
  4. Other supporting documentation and comments

 

Outstanding Non-Member Award

To be awarded to a person who is not a member of ASNA but has demonstrated significant contribution/support of nursing, healthcare, and/or ASNA during the past year.

  1. Evidence of involvement with or on behalf of nursing and/or healthcare
    • Specific hospital and agency
    • Local nursing organization
    • State organization
    • Nursing or healthcare in general
  2. Other supporting documentation and comments

 

Outstanding New Member Award

To be awarded to a new member, defined as a person who has been an ASNA member for two years or less.

  1. Evidence of significant contributions to ASNA, district, and county
  2. Other supporting documentation and comments

 

Lillian Holland Harvey Award

Lillian Holland Harvey was a dynamic professional who promoted transcultural relations by leading all of nursing forward. She started the first Baccalaureate School of Nursing in Alabama.

To be awarded to a member who has made significant contributions in one or more of the following areas: fostering transcultural relations, promoting advancement of minority groups, and upgrading health care services to those who are culturally and economically under-served.

  1. Evidence of:
    • Fostering transcultural relations
    • Promoting advancement of minority groups
    • Upgrading health care services to those who are culturally and economically underserved
    • Professional involvement
    • Community involvement
  2. Other supporting documentation and comments

 

Louise Barksdale Outstanding Nursing Practice Award

Louise Barksdale gave her entire nursing career being a staff nurse. She not only committed her vast energies to her patients and community, but also to her professional association, being active on the local, state, and national level.

To be awarded to the outstanding exemplar recipient of ASNA Citation of Nursing Excellence statewide.

 

Health Policy Award

To be awarded to an active member in the legislature or in an organization that promotes health policy in the State of Alabama.

  1. Evidence of involvement with or on behalf of nursing and/or health
  2. Involvement related to nursing and/or health care in general
  3. Other supporting documentation or comments

 

Cindajo Overton Outstanding Nurse Educator Award

Cindajo Overton made a tremendous contribution to nursing education. Her career consisted of 10 years of bedside nursing and 26 years of nursing instruction at Wallace Community College. Cindajo chose nursing education as she believed this was the best way to have a greater impact on nursing. Cindajo was a member of ASNA for 38 years and was active at the state, national, and local level.

To be awarded to a member who is an outstanding nurse educator in an academic or service setting.

  1. Evidence of excellence in teaching in academic or service
  2. Advances the science of nursing through clarifying, refining and/or expanding the knowledge base of nursing
  3. Promotes a theory base for nursing curricula
  4. Influences scholarly development in nursing education and/or research
  5. Innovative in assisting and encouraging student nurses in professional development
  6. Contribute to the improvement of quality healthcare through the teaching process
  7. Professional and community involvement
  8. Publications and presentations
  9. Other supporting documentation and comments

 

Outstanding Nursing Administrator Award Academe or Service

To be awarded to an ASNA member who is employed in administration of a health care organization or school/college of nursing and demonstrates outstanding performance.

  1. Demonstrates and encourages excellence in teaching or nursing care delivery
  2. Advances the science of nursing through clarifying, refining and/or expanding the knowledge base of nursing
  3. Promotes a theory base for nursing practice and/or curricula
  4. Supports the professional development of faculty/staff
  5. Professional and community involvement
  6. Provides innovative leadership to fulfill the mission of the organization
  7. Other supporting documentation and comments

 

Outstanding Retired Nurse Award

To be awarded to a member of ASNA who is retired from employment as a nurse and has made significant contributions to nursing and health following retirement.

  1. Evidence of long term commitment to ASNA
    • Contribution of nursing and ASNA
    • Contribution to politics in relationship to nursing
    • Community involvement
  2. Other supporting documentation and comments

 

Outstanding Health Care Organization Award

To be awarded to an organization that provides extraordinary direct health care to patients.

  1. Recognized for provision of quality care to patients
  2. Promotes a positive image of nursing
  3. Provides desirable working conditions for nurses
  4. Promotes ethical and professional nursing practice
  5. Recognizes nurses for their contributions to the organization and quality of patient care
  6. Community involvement

 

Outstanding Advocate of the Year Award

To be awarded to an individual who actively supports ASNA and is directly involved in promoting nursing and healthcare issues in the state of Alabama.

  1. Evidence of involvement with or on behalf of nursing and/or
  2. Involvement related to nursing and/or healthcare in general
  3. Other supporting documentation or comments

 

Legislative Report – May 2017

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SUMMARY OF THE 2017 ALABAMA LEGISLATIVE SESSION 

First, ASNA welcome’s the Honorable Kay Ivey as Alabama’s 54th Governor. Governor Ivey is the second female and the first Republican female to serve as Governor. This year’s Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature ended on May 19, 2017. The following is a recap of key state issues related to nursing and healthcare:

  1. Strengthening healthcare volunteer driver protections for non-profit or faith-based organizations: HB175 passed House but the Session ended before a Senate vote.

  2. Medicaid Services – full funding, access to services and possible billing issues for APRN’s: General Fund passed – still need to fight for full scope for all nurses to increase access to care.

  3. Alabama Board of Nursing & Nurse Practice Act: SB131, 132, 133 and 134 were ABN bills written to bring Alabama language more in line with national trends, enhance authority of the ABN governing nursing education, ABN Peace Officer powers and the APRN loan repayment program for underserved areas. The Session ended without passage of any of the four bills. They will be reintroduced in 2018.

  4. Appropriations for nurse educator scholarships and the APRN Loan Repayment program: ASNA helped introduce legislation years ago that set aside money for nurse educator scholarships, given the projected shortage of NE’s at the time. These were to be administered through the ABN. This year $166,000 was appropriated…a slight increase! Also, ASNA supported legislation two years ago that appropriated $450,000 a year for APRN student loan repayments (up to $12k yr.) for APRNs who would agree to work in one of 30+ underserved areas in our state. The amount has to be re-appropriated each year in the budget. We all worked together…and it is a go for the 2018 budget!

  5. Certified Professional Midwives: There were two bills related to midwifery. One made midwifery for home births legal and the other set up a regulatory board and practice standards. The first bill was enacted. The second did not pass and will come up again in 2018. To be clear, the CPM’s have higher standards that “lay midwives” but are NOT MASTER DEGREED CERTIFIED NURSE MIDWIVES (CNM). In fact, they need not be nurses at all. As this issue will surely emerge again, we encourage nurses to BE INFORMED and BE ENGAGED. Stay tuned.

  6. Autism Services: Congratulations to autism advocates for passage of HB284. The bill requires certain payer plans to pay for Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy, which is proven to help autistic patients. Individuals, especially young children, who receive ABA therapy, may develop skills that help them be more independent in school and later in life.

  7. Other issues of ongoing concern are: The proliferation of opioid abuse, sex trafficking, and the need for more access to care for all people. ASNA/ANA continues to fight against incivility/bullying in the workplace and advocates for high ethical standards in nursing.

  8. On June 8, 2017 a team led by ASNA President Rebecca Huie will participate in Lobby Day on the Hill in Washington D.C. Hundreds of nurse leaders will do the same with their legislative delegations.

 

Nurses speak up! 

Joint ASNA/ANA membership is now only $15 a month!

LEARN MORE

 

John Ziegler
Executive Director, Alabama State Nurses Association

Have They Been Forgotten?: A Look at Uniontown, Alabama

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By Azita Amiri PhD, RN, Chair, Environmental Task Force  |  Assistant Professor, University of Alabama in Huntsville

Citizens in Uniontown, Alabama, a small town in Perry County surrounded by rural areas, have been suffering physically, mentally, and emotionally for more than two decades. Uniontown has had a failed “waste treatment” spray field for many years. In this city, sewage water is sprayed out on the fields where it is supposedly absorbed by the soil. The soil in that area, however, percolates water very slowly, which results in stagnant water on the fields. Not too far from the failing sewage spray fields is a cheese plant that adds a huge amount of rotten butter milk (whey) to the environment and after treatment, its effluent water is sprayed in the surrounding ponds.

“County health ranking and roadmaps (2016) ranked Perry County the 66th healthiest county (out of 67) in Alabama.”

New to this environment is the mega-landfill holding 4 million tons of toxic materials. In 2009, after the coal ash dike at TVA Kingston fossil plants was ruptured and released 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash into Emory river in Tennessee, as a part of cleaning process, Arrowhead landfill in Uniontown received the spilled coal ash. A total of 4,021,934.73 tons of coal ash was transferred to Arrowhead in 6 shipments from July 2, 2009 to December 4, 2010.

Arrowhead Landfill is only 7 miles from downtown Uniontown

Coal ash is the residue and one of the byproducts of coal power plants and is considered hazardous waste. Coal ash contains many toxic materials including heavy metals such as arsenic, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, thallium, vanadium, and zinc. Arrowhead landfill is located 4 to 5 miles from Uniontown and the nearest residence is approximately 250 to 300 feet away from the site. Filthy odors, corrosive dust, and concerns about toxic air, soil, and water have become facts of life for Uniontown’s citizens.

This environmental injustice, combined with other factors such as poverty and low health literacy, has resulted in significant health disparities in this area. Uniontown has about 2,400 people, with more than 88% African American, high numbers of elderly, single, unemployed, and disabled individuals. The people who can afford to leave the city, have done so.

Here is the situation in Uniontown:

  • There is only one doctor’s office in town.
  • The nearest Health Department is over 20 miles away in Marion (Perry County Health Department).
  • The nearest hospitals are 30+ miles in either direction and most residents choose to travel greater distances (70-100 miles) to Montgomery, Tuscaloosa or Birmingham to seek professional health care needs.
  • There is no transportation system available and most individuals in Uniontown cannot afford to travel 200 miles roundtrip to visit a specialist.
  • County health ranking and road maps (2016) ranked Perry County the 66th healthiest county (out of 67) in Alabama. In this ranking, two types of health outcomes, length of life and quality of life, were measured. This county suffers from high rates of premature death, poor mental health days, and poor health days, low birth weight, and high sexually transmitted infections, children in poverty, and children in single parent households, when compared with national and state levels.
  • The primary care physician and mental health providers are 3,340:1 and 4,910:1, respectively.
  • Alabama Department of Health, 2013, data shows that Perry County is combating with higher rate of heart diseases, pancreas and ovarian cancer, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The citizens reported that Uniontown has incredibly high rates of depression and other mental and emotional disabilities.
  • Environmental Working group (EWG), for tap water testing in 2004-2005, reported a high level of aluminum in the water, which exceeded both health and legal limits, and a high level of lead (5-10 ppb), which exceeded health limits.

Have they really been forgotten? Are we, as Alabama nurses, aware of the health status of different counties and cities in our state? In fact, I was not aware of the struggles of this small city, until a few weeks ago, when a citizen, which had heard about my studies on environmental sampling called and said “We need help!”

My suggestions are to:

  1. Raise awareness about Alabama State’s health profile in regional conferences and include it in nursing curriculum, e.g., community health course, for undergraduate students
  2. Arrange statewide medical mission trips
  3. Include medically underserved areas as the clinical sites for nursing students at graduate and undergraduate levels
  4. Study the role of toxins in air, water, and soil on health outcomes
  5. Apply appropriate evidence based interventions for improving health outcomes and health literacy
  6. Become an advocate and a powerful voice to bring environmental justice to underserved areas like Uniontown.

Usually, nurses are on the front line to serve patients from low-income and medically underserved communities at the national and international level. I would like to ask Alabama nurses, who are in practice or academia, as well as ASNA committees to consider finding ways to help this medically underserved population.

What is AANS and Why Does It Matter?

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The Alabama Association of Nursing Students (AANS) is a constituent of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA). NSNA is a non-profit organization for students enrolled in pre-nursing, associate, baccalaureate, diploma, and generic graduate nursing programs. The organization has more than 60,0000 members. NSNA and AANS are dedicated to fostering the professional development of nursing students.

Pictured left: AANS Board; pictured right: AANS Annual Conference

The mission of the Alabama Association of Nursing Students is to foster nursing education, facilitate unity among our future colleagues, and to optimize the nursing student’s exposure to the numerous specialties and pathways in the ever-changing field of nursing.

Becoming a NSNA member today will connect you with a community that understands and can connect with you on the same level. It is hard for family and friends to understand the struggle of being a nursing student. We offer conventions on the state and national level as a way to connect with other nursing students and vendors with ample opportunities.

There are other benefits to joining today as well. NSNA members are offered discounts on many amenities like books, study materials, apparel, NCLEX reviews, and most importantly they offer Health and Liability insurance. Joining today will connect you with all the endless possibilities that NSNA and AANS provides.

If you have any questions about how to join, or wish to start an NSNA recognized student nurses chapter at your school, please email here. 

WANTED: NURSE ACTIVISTS

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This past year, widespread American activism has awakened from a period of “relative slumber” to a loud roar. We are a polarized nation and no matter where you fit across the spectrum of far left, left, centralist, right or far right you are probably more aware than ever that you DO FIT somewhere.

Over matters ranging from national security to budget allocation subsidies for hog farmers, crowds are marching, using social media, supporting and/or objecting to issues important to them. Healthcare is at or near the top of the list, yet paradoxically, nurse activists have been, at best, rarely cited in the media and, for the most part, are largely invisible. Where are the nurse activists? Where are you?

Often you hear the term, “nurse advocate”. It is a good descriptive for those few nurses truly engaged in their professional organization, such as ASNA. Of the more than 90,000 nurses in Alabama, less than 2% are members of their professional organization. In contrast, more than 55% of MDs are members of their PO. Florence would be horrified!

To relate to today’s politically “charged” culture, perhaps we should drop the term “nurse advocate” and use the term “nurse activist” instead. Sounds exciting!

What does a nurse activist look like?

  1. An activist understands the power of a group.
  2. An activist is passionate about things that are wrong or right.
  3. An activist MAKES time to be an activist. (Even with a 10 sec. tweet or FB post)
  4. An activist gets instant gratification for standing up and speaking out.
  5. Most activists are young, a little apprehensive, but energized by the passion of others.

Nurses have the status of “Most Trusted Profession” in the public mind and they are the largest work force in healthcare! That’s why the powers that control healthcare dollars don’t want you to become an activist. They fear that if 3.5 million nurses WAKE UP and become activists that a “moral imperative” might overcome the “almighty dollar” as the top priority in developing systems of care (a false assumption, as nurse leaders are smart business people too).

The bottom line

For your patients’ sake, become an activist. Lock arms with fellow nurses of all specialties to impact the status quo, benefit your career and help patients all at the same time. Channel your love for people, your anger, and your dreams of how much better the system can be into becoming a nurse activist. Patient care will be optimized, you’ll be proud of yourself, and you can be Florence Nightingale would be proud of you too.

If you’d like to become an advocate with us, click here.

ANF Awards Scholarships to Alabama Nursing Students

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The Alabama Nursing Foundation (ANF) awarded seven scholarships at FACES ’17 on April 18, 2017 at Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

Academic scholarships were available to any Alabama resident enrolled in education leading to a nursing degree. This year’s awardees hailed from all over the state and included both nursing students and nurses who returned to school to further their education.

2017 Academic Scholarship Awardees

Alexis Strickland, Troy University
“My professional goal is to help as many people as I can during my career. I believe I was born to help.”

Mandy Brock, Auburn University Montgomery
“I want to become part of a team and use the knowledge that I have learned in school to make a difference.”

Carson Lee Hagood, Anderson College
“My main goal throughout my whole career as a nurse is to have a positive impact on my patients.”

Julia Adams, Samford University
“I believe becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist will allow me to help a larger population and make a greater impact giving back to my community.”

Wanting Min, University of Alabama in Birmingham
“There are varieties of nursing I want to do to help people. It is the beauty of nursing.”

Jeanette Atkinson, University of North Alabama
“I have always loved nursing and I stayed involved in committees within my organization to improve patient safety, customer service, and quality care.”

Wade Forehand, Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Leadership at UA
“One of my personal goals…is the pursuit of lifelong learning. I believe that one should never stop learning and self-improving.

Scholarships and Grants

In addition to these scholarships, up to four different grants will be awarded each year on an ongoing basis throughout the year. The grants must address a current Alabama health issue and priority will be given for projects that support the ASNA Strategic Plan and/or resolutions adopted by the ASNA House of Delegates. The amount is $500 per grant. Learn more about ANF and funding opportunities.

Through its functions, ANF not only offers scholarships and grants, but also addresses the critical issues facing the nursing profession in Alabama today. These functions are exclusively charitable, educational, scientific and literary and are intended to increase the visibility of nursing in the state. The primary mission of the Alabama Nurses Foundation is to increase public knowledge and understanding of nursing and the nursing profession.

All proceeds from tag purchases and renewals benefit ANF. Get your tag at any Alabama license office!

Legislative Report – April 2017

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Bills are on http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/default.aspx.   

 

The following is an update on bills and issues of concern to ASNA:

Bill/Issue

Description

Status

HB105 Ala Board of Nursing (ABN) Sunset Review SG
HB175 Volunteer Driver Protections (transporting people with disabilities or chronic illness) POC
HB254, HB255, HB256 Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN function improvements) POC
HB315, HB316 Certified Professional Midwife (board, licensure and practice scope) POC
SB131, SB132, SB133 Senate version of ABN function improvements (HB254, 255, 256) IC
SB134 APRN loan repayment for underserved county practice appropriatio Passed Senate in House Health Committee

Status Codes: IC = in committee. POC = passed out of committee. SG = Sent to Governor. P = passed into law

ASNA supports all of these bills as currently written with the exception of HB315, HB316 – CPM licensure.  CPM’s are not nurses. They are a separate profession than Certified Nurse Midwives and have different educational / credentialing requirements. Although some CNM’s have expressed support for CPM legalization in Alabama, there are still many unanswered questions. We are cautious about supporting this legislation and would like more time to study new models that are presented or implied in the bills. In the mean time, we encourage our members to read the legislation via the above link to “Alison” and express their opinions to legislators. The home birth advocates and CPM’s are well organized and seem to have convinced legislative leaders that their cause is just. Things are moving fast. Let your views be known.

 

Other Issues and/or Actions:

  • Electronic Cigarettes Danger Awareness:  Articles in Al Nurse, ASNA FB posts, Dr. Amiri spoke at ND at Capitol (ongoing)
  • Medicaid Services:  ASNA seat on Medicaid Advisory Committee, Supports full funding, Promotes full scope for APRNs.
  • Environmental Advocacy:  Monitoring public health impact of coal-ash and other toxic waste disposal in rural Alabama.
  • Collaboration with Alabama Health Action Council on workforce data collection (HB97) and the Alabama Pharmacy Association on allowing pharmacists to offer bio-similar substitutions for biologic medications (HB82).
  • Other health/social issues of concern include opioid abuse and the proliferation of human sex trafficking.

 

In addition to the state legislative arena, ASNA advocates on an ongoing basis with our elected officials in Washington.  Each year, your ASNA President, President-elect, Executive Director and other leaders meet with Alabama Senators and Congressmen while attending the ANA Membership Assembly.   We advocate for federal rules/legislation that address access to care, healthcare funding, research, staffing standards, safe patient handling and workplace incivility/bullying.

 

Join ASNA and let your voice be heard. You may have issues of concern or ideas that can be translated into policy or future legislative initiatives. Your ideas may start a chain reaction that eventuates real change in systems of care. Remember, “legislation” dictates “policy” and “policy” dictates nursing “practice.”

 

John Ziegler
Executive Director, Alabama State Nurses Association

 

An Open Letter on HB316-Certified Professional Midwives

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Certified Professional Midwife (nursing degree not required) bill passed out of committee Wednesday to the Alabama House for consideration. (See HB316 on Ala House website). For many successive years advocates for home birth via midwife services have tried to push legislation in Alabama.

ASNA’s Position

Each year, ASNA has opposed this along with other nursing and healthcare organizations. Our concerns centered around patient safety, public confusion over the large variation in educational requirements for non-nurse vs certified nurse midwife credentials and the disparity in granting independent practice authority to midwives while holding APRN’s to practice limited by collaborative agreements and other restrictions.

Although ASNA continues to have these concerns and is NOT in full support of HB316 as currently written, this year’s legislation has presented challenges that require much more research to fairly assess its impact. The largest surprise has been the SUPPORT for the establishment of licensure and oversite by a new board along with independent practice for CPM’s from Alabama and national Certified Nurse Midwife organizations!

Consequently, ASNA leaders have participated in numerous discussions with legislators, opponents and proponents of the bill over recent weeks. This week we met with Certified Nurse Midwife leadership to ascertain why they have changed their position on the issue. Additionally, we have contacted CNM leadership in Tennessee where CPM’s have been legal for several years and corresponded with key policy staff at ANA.

We have learned that for several years USA CNM leadership has worked in with national and international midwife leaders to establish more uniform higher standards for Certified Professional Midwives. The American College of Nurse Midwives has endorsed these standards for licensure of CPM’s as a profession separate and distinct from nurse licensure requirements. HB316 refers to these new and higher standards as a guide for future rules that will be established by the midwifery board.

In Summation

A central thrust of ASNA’s legislative agenda is the support of the Consensus model with full practice authority for Advance Practice Registered Nurses. CPM’s are not required to be nurses and want to be a separate and distinct profession in Alabama. In spite of the recent findings regarding Certified Nurse Midwives support for the bill, ASNA was not included in any discussions prior to the introduction of HB316 and has deep concerns about its implications. We therefore will continue to oppose it as written. And, we encourage more dialogue with proponents and opponents in the future so that we may provide our membership with updated information on the subject.

John Ziegler
Executive Director, Alabama State Nurses Association

Are You Connected?

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ASNA routinely sends out email alerts regarding legislative and practice issues and continuing education opportunities.  As a licensed nurse in Alabama you should already be receiving our quarterly The Alabama Nurse (if not, let us know), visiting us on Facebook, or receiving our Tweets, but we would love to add you to our email list.  Click here for more information.

Nurses Save Lives. Now, Nurses Can Save Money Too.

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Alabama State Nurses Association (ASNA) is proud to announce the new Nurse Platinum Visa Card from Servis1st Bank. Without reducing cardholder benefits, the card helps ASNA support the nursing profession and is available ASNA members and non-members alike.

 

“Finally, a special credit card honoring nurses,” said Dr. John Ziegler, ASNA Executive Director. “When one has a nurse card, they participate in promoting the nursing profession as a whole.”

 

The Personal Platinum Visa® Card lets applicants choose between a full 1% cash back or the buying power of Platinum benefits. Cash back is earned on up to the first $60,000 in annual spending. Cardholders can earn cash back on groceries, gas, online purchases and everything else they buy. There are no spending tiers or minimums.

 

Visa ChartCardholders get access to additional features that allow them to manage their expenses including:

  • Tracking purchases on itemized statements
  • Getting extra cards for additional users
  • Making purchases around the world

 

Cardholders can also access their accounts 24 hours a day to:

  • Oversee all activity at a glance
  • Manage payment options and transactions
  • Update profile information
  • Set account alerts to track payments and balances
  • Manage accounts, anytime, anywhere

 

No matter which card people choose, cardholders pay no interest on purchases and balance transfers for the first seven billing cycles after opening an account. After that, there is a variable APR, currently as low as 11.50% and 13.50%, respectively, for Platinum cash back and Platinum accounts based on the Prime Rate.

 

Those interested in applying for a Nurse Platinum Visa Card can use the secured online application now or call 855-881-0364.

Redemption Vouchers for Nursing Car Tags

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Alabama’s First Approved Nursing Car Tag – Sign Up Now

The Alabama State Revenue office assured us that you do not need your redemption voucher, but that the local office could look it up for you with your VIN#. Anyone having problems should ask their local office to contact the state headquarters for verification of this statement.