ANA APRIL 2001 Activities and Accomplishments

Nurses Activism


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American Nurses Association (ANA)

ANA Activities and Accomplishments

April, 2001

This report summarizes the highlights of ANA activities during April 2001. The report focuses on the following Core ANA Issues and functions:

Nurse Staffing

Workplace Rights

Workplace Health and Safety

Continuing Competence

Patient Safety/Advocacy

Ethics and Human Rights

Acronyms Contained in This Report

Nurse Staffing

ANA is leading the way in research, policy and practice, and workplace strategies to ensure that the number and mix of staff are appropriate, protecting both patients and nurses.

President Foley and CEO Stierle represented ANA at the spring Tri-Council meeting on April 18, 2001 in New York City and presented/guided an indepth discussion on the "Call to the Profession" about the nursing shortage and staffing.

Met with the offices of Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and secured their commitment to introduce legislation requiring health care providers to publically disclose and report the number and mix of nursing staff providing patient care on a shift-by-shift basis as a condition of participation in the Medicare program. The legislation would also require information on the staffing plan used by the facility and the incidence of nursing-sensitive patient outcomes to be reported and posted. The legislation was introduced during National Nurses' Week.

Met with numerous offices of Representatives and Senators to explain ANA's opposition to the use of mandatory overtime.

Participated in press conference with Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-AR) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) regarding the introduction of the Nursing Employment and Education Development Act (NEED Act).

Attended the Health Professional and Nursing Education Coalition (HPNEC) meetings to share information regarding the President's budget, Congress' priorities and deadlines and strategies to oppose budget cuts.

Updated legislation that is part of the nationwide state staffing legislative agenda where Constituent Member Associations (CMAs) have backed legislation addressing such issues as nurse shortage studies, staffing standards, nursing workforce data collection, education, mandatory overtime and whistleblower protection:

Mandatory Overtime

New Jersey SB 2093, passed committee


Oregon HB 2700, passed House

West Virginia HB 2506, to governor for signature

Collection of Nursing Workforce Data

Mississippi HB 1027, enacted 3/11/01

North Dakota HB 1360, enacted 4/3/01

Needlestick Legislation

Arkansas HB 1356, enacted 2/26/01

Nursing Education

Texas SB 572, passed Senate

Nursing Quality Indicators

New York AB 2581, passed House

Staffing Shortage Studies

Arkansas HB 2168, enacted 4/10

New Hampshire HB 143, passed House

Virginia SB 1378, enacted 3/27/01

West Virginia HB 2504, enacted 4/27/01

Provided legislative consultation to the following CMAs:

Nevada Nurses Association: Nurse Discipline and Nevada Nurse

Practice Act

New York State Nurses Association: Nationwide state legislative


Maryland Nurses Association: Letter in support of advanced

practice nurses legislation

Louisiana State Nurses Association: Needlestick legislation

Illinois State Nurses Association: Mandatory overtime and staffing


New Hampshire Nurses Association: Mandatory overtime

Kentucky: Mandatory overtime

Received press coverage in the following venues on nursing shortage, inadequate staffing and mandatory overtime: Northeast Public Radio, WAMC, (April 6; President Foley interviewed); KPSI Radio/Dallas (April 9, President Foley); Wall Street Journal (April 10, April 25 and April 27); Buffalo News (April 10 and 11); Diane Rehm's Show: (April 12, UAN Director Bianchi Sand panelist); Kansas City Star (April 22); WTVC-TV/ Chattanooga, TN (April 27, President Foley interviewed).

Facilitated press coverage on the nursing shortage through the following newspapers, periodicals, magazines and news programs (air and print dates expected in May): Chicago Tribune; Modern Healthcare; Witchita Eagle; The American Prospect; Hospital and Health Networks; LA Business Journal; Advance for Nurses; Time Magazine (President Foley interviewed for the article and a magnet hospital was profiled); CNN (President Foley interviewed).

Launched placement of article on ANA's staffing survey and the nursing shortage as a "Did You Know?" section in newspapers across the country through national press service (NAPS). Articles will appear in different papers throughout May and June as space is available.

Issued press releases applauding introduction of Nurse Reinvestment Act (Released April 6) and Nursing Employment and Education Development (NEED) Act (Released April 5, 2001) in Congress.

Completed Safe Staffing Campaign media kits and mailed out to labor states for use during Nurses Week.

Workplace Rights

ANA protects, defends and educates nurses about their rights as employees.

Continued to increase the recognition and economic valuation of nursing services through the participation of representatives at the meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) Practice Expense Advisory Committee. Representatives also participated in the AMA Relative Value Update Committee and the Health Care Professionals Advisory Committee meetings held in Chicago, Illinois. This work influences the valuation of the work associated with numerous Common Procedure Terminology (CPT) codes and promotes better understanding of scope of practice issues, not only with the AMA Committee members, but also with Healthcare Finance Administration (HCFA) staff who participate at each meeting.

Continued visits to congressional offices of members of the House of Representatives and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Health, Human Services and Education to provide staff with background information on the Nurse Education Act (NEA) and suggest appropriations allocations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2002. The NEA provides for the preparation of advanced practice nurses, basic nurse education and workforce diversity. Offices visited included: Reps. Jesse Jackson, Jr., (D-IL), Ernest Istook, (R-GA), Ralph Regula, (R-OH), Kay Granger, (R-TX), John Peterson, (R-PA), Rosa DeLauro, (D-CT), Bill Young, (R-FL), Don Sherwood, (R-PA), Rep. John Murtha,(D-PA) and Sens. Thad Cochran, R-MS), Mike DeWine, (R-OH), and Herb Kohl, (D-WI).

Received notice that Ohio Nurses Association (*ONA) gave10-day notice of strike that would affect 774 registered nurses. Drafted template letter for *ONA nurses and began coordinating UAN response in the event of strike.

Filed for the Veterans Administration contract program with the Federal Labor Relations Authority, a program designed to negotiate a national collective bargaining agreement with the Veterans Health Administration. National contracts aid unions in negotiating stronger local contracts and deal with local issues that are being decided at the regional or national levels.

Completed draft of Strike Support Protocols and worked with District of Columbia (DCNA) on national strike fund resolution to be submitted to UAN NLA in June 2001.

Completed draft of RN wage comparison across various occupations in preparation for UAN NLA in June 2001

Completed chronology of work of Task Force on Affiliation in response to educate members on the evolution of events since June 1998.

Continued to research RN contract settlements, strikes and organizing campaigns in 2001 and assisted CMAs with organizing campaigns.

Workplace Health and Safety

ANA fights for a safer workplace by addressing the growing number of hazards that threaten nurses, such as needle stick injuries, latex allergy, back injuries and violence.

Wrote and submitted Senate testimony on ergonomics to Senate subcommitee following hearings held by Senator Spector on April 26, 2001. ANA is positioned on the record regarding the continued need for a Federal Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) standard.

Completed commissioned paper on the subject of Human Factors in the Organization of Healthcare on behalf of President Foley for submission to the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) and to the Journal. If accepted, paper will be published in a medical peer-reviewed journal, promoting the utilization of systems approaches (for both patient and worker safety) from multiple disciplines (not just human factors), including nursing.

Prepared and presented a presentation on non-latex glove alternatives for Health Care Without Harm's Clean Med International conference in Boston.

Coordinated ANA's response to the workplace fatality in Florida, resulting from an incident of violence. ANA press release received good response from politicians and the media.

Provided education on needlestick injury prevention and implementing/enforcing the new law:

April 3 - New York Harbor Veterans Administration Health


April 6 - NYSNA Workshop in New York City

April 16 - NYSNA in Syracuse, NY

April 17 - NYSNA in Buffalo, NY

April 19 - Joint ANA/Training for Development of Innovative

Control Technologies (TDICT) Devise Selection Workshop

for American Federation of Teachers in Washington, DC.

Assisted Minnesota and North Carolina bargaining unit leaders with contract language to help prevent back injuries among nurse members.

Published Workplace Health and Safety Guide for Nurses: OSHA and National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) resources which will be available for sale through American Nurses Publishing.

Received initial funding from Health Care Without Harm and staff has begun working on the project.

Received an announcement and copy of the Federal Register indicating newly designed Susan Harwood Training grant program, which was for only one year that target safety and health training programs in (1) construction (2) bloodborne pathogens (3) ergonomics (4) electrical power generation, transmission and distribution, and (5) training programs on safety and health issues for hard-to-reach workers (food processing and landscape and tree trimming).

Facilitated press coverage of workplace violence in St. Louis Post Dispatch and Environmental Care Leader (Publication expected in early May).

Issued press releases on implementation of needlestick law and ANA's call for stricter violence protections for health care workers (April 18).

Continuing Competence

Today's informed consumers are demanding that the competence of licensed professionals be validated throughout their career. ANA must lead the debate and guide the development and implementation of continued competency standards for the profession.

President Foley keynoted at the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) Biennial Convention, "The Current Workplace: Its Positive and Negative Impact on your Practice" on April 20-21, 2001 in Tacoma, Washington and served as a panelist for discussion on medical errors in the hospital.

Attended and co-provided the ANF "Lyme Disease: Train-the-Trainer" workshop which was held on Friday, April 6, 2001 at the Belmont Conference Center in Elkridge, Maryland.

Attended and co-provided ANF "The Hildegarde Peplau Lecture" by ANF President Sills on April 6, 2001 at the Marymount University College of Nursing in Arlington, Virginia. Sponsors of this lecture were: Marymount University College of Nursing, The Catholic University School of Nursing and ANA.

Signed a contract with Dr. Susan Sportsman and Dr. Linda Hawley by American Nurses Publishing to author a book on Critical Practice Management Strategies for Nurse Practitioners. The projected publication date is July 2002.

Patient Safety/Advocacy

By effecting positive change around issues that are so critical to nursing and its future, ANA will advance its ultimate goal, quality patient care. In today's environment that means ensuring that patient safety and quality are priority, not profit-making.

President Foley keynoted on issues relating to patient safety, quality care, mandatory overtime, and safe staffing at the following meetings:

The Hartford Foundation Conference on April 11, 2001 in

New York City.

Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) Convention, "Quality

Care, Safe Staffing" on April 19, 2001 in Sunriver, Oregon.

Approximately 180 nurses in attendance. A total of 1.2

continuing education hours were earned by attendees.

American Federation of State, County and Municipal

Employees (AFSCME), "Partnering for Empowerment" on

April 22, 2001 in Chicago, Illinois. Approximately 375-400


Delmarva Foundation, "Patient Safety" on April 23, 2001 in

Baltimore, Maryland. Approximately 500 attendees.

Delaware Nurses Association and Delaware Student Nurses,

90 th Anniversary Celebration, "The Healing Power of the Past,

Present and Future" on April 27, 2001 in Dover, Delaware.

Approximately 180 nurses in attendance.

Prepared written and oral testimony that was presented at the hearing on the nursing shortage and future Title VIII legislation hosted by the National Advisory Council on Nursing Education and Practice (NACNEP) on April 26, 2001. Importantly, ANA was the only witness to address the impact of the work environment on the shortage. ANA reinforced our status as an effective public policy advocate by providing concrete examples of legislative changes to Title VIII that are needed to improve the programs of the NEA.

Participated in the Patient Safety Task Force (AHRQ/CDC/HCFA/FDA) two-day meeting convened to propose a national patient safety reporting system and gauge the response of providers, the healthcare industry, patient safety. DCNA member Gwen Johnson responded to the proposal by applauding the effort and by highlighting specific considerations necessary to better capture the nature and extent of patient safety problems. One important outcome of this meeting: ANA was the only nursing organization/union participating in the meeting, and nursing's presence in the discussion sensitized others to be more inclusive in their observations and responses.

Ethics and Human Rights

Continued to address concerns of members regarding language in some of the interpretive statements.

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