VA Nurse Retention Bill Signed into Law

  1. from ana's nursing world:

    on january 11, 2002 the department of veterans affairs health care programs enhancement act (hr 3447) was presented to president bush. the bill was signed into law by the president on january 23rd. ana strongly supports this bill which contains many important va nurse provisions.

    this legislation will:

    *modify and make permanent the va employee incentive
    *scholarship program and debt reduction program;
    *require a report on the use of mandatory overtime by licensed nursing staff and nursing assistants in each facility;
    *make clarifications to the nurse locality pay authorities in order to allow surveys of salaries other than beginning rates of pay;
    *give va nurses enrolled in the federal employee retirement system the same ability to use unused sick leave as part of the retirement year calculation that va nurses enrolled in the civilian retirement system have;
    *provide saturday premium pay to title 5/title 38 hybrids;
    *require the va to develop a nationwide policy on staffing standards to ensure that veterans are provided with safe and high quality care. such staffing standards must consider the numbers and skill mix required of staff in specific medical settings;
    *exempt registered nurses from the requirement that part-time service performed prior to april 7, 1986, be prorated when calculating retirement annuities;
    *require a report on va's use of authority to request waivers of the pay reduction for re-employed annuitants;
    *require an evaluation of nurse-managed clinics, including primary care and geriatric clinics; and
    *require a report on va's nurse qualification standards.
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    About NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN Moderator

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  3. by   oramar
    From time to time I have seen post from VA nurses about flaws in the previous law. I felt bad for them because the were suffering pay and benefit discrimanation. I hope this helps them. I hope they post and tell us what they think.
  4. by   -jt
    Below is the link to the tesitmony an ANA member RN in a West Virginia VA hospital made before Congress at a Congressional hearing on the nursing crisis & shortage of nurses willing to work in hospitals. She spoke specfically about the VA hospitals in her testimony & urged support for this law & explained to Congress why they should pass it. A very impressive testimony. I met her at the UAN RN Lobby Day in DC last year (same place I ran into Karen) & found out she is just a plain, ol', staff RN like the rest of us. I used to read these things like Congressional Tesitmonies & think these nurses who do this must be some big official head of something, but all it is is just us - and we're making an impact. This law is important for VA nurses & Im sure her testimony is what swayed some of those legislators to pass that law. Congratulations! ; )

    <Statement of the American Nurses Association
    before Senate Committee on Veteran's Affairs
    on Looming Nurse Shortage: Impact on the Department of Veterans Affairs
    June 14, 2001>
    Last edit by -jt on Jan 29, '02