I hope this newsletter finds you all well and continuing your work to promote our profession through excellent care of your patients and by educating our future CRNAs.
Your NANA Board and Officers continue to provide you benefits of your membership. We have been very involved this legislative session in advocating on your behalf. Senator Blood wished to introduce the APRN Compact Bill this session (LB 687). We supported this bill and formed a coalition of support with Nebraska Nurses Association, the Nebraska Hospital Association, Nebraska Clinical Nurse Specialists and Nebraska Nurse Practitioners. We all joined together to testify in support of the bill on January 18th.
There has also been much work behind the scenes communicating with the senators of the Health and Human Services Committee. Forming a coalition is one of the most important elements when there are times for us to fight or move legislation forward. We were very interested in being involved in the support for LB 687 and the coalition opportunity it provided since this is the foundation we will need if we ever face AA legislation.
We also testified on LB 788 in regards to opioid prescribing. This bill spoke to a specific amount of required education (5 hours) pertaining to opioid prescribing. Two of the five hours would be specifically dedicated to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Our stance on this bill was neutral. We emphasized that CRNAs are very aware of the opioid crisis and that we are already working to decrease addiction in our patients through education, regional anesthetics and chronic pain interventions. We also educated on our prescribing occurring only in the hospital setting as we do not have prescriptive authority and as such, do not require an individual DEA license. Therefore, the portion of the education dedicated to the Prescriptive Drug Monitoring Program does not apply to our practice modality.
Please see our Lobbyist Kent Rogert’s post regarding an update on the status of these bills.
We have also identified CRNAs in each legislative district to serve as key contacts with our state’s lawmakers. The Board has been busy personally contacting these CRNAs to see if they are willing to serve. These CRNAs will be tasked with forming a relationship with the senator in their district and attending fundraisers. It is helpful to already have a relationship before we need to ask the senator for help with a bill we would like moved forward or one that we would like to stop (ie: AA legislation). If you are interested in serving as a key contact, please contact us.
We will also be holding our first legislative day at the state capitol. We will have a resource table in the capitol and interact with our State Senators to educate them on our profession and how we can be a solution to many of the healthcare challenges our state faces. This will be on Thursday, April 5th. Please contact us if you are interested in participating.
In order to make an impact with advocacy efforts like those above, we need PAC funds. A Political Action Committee is the only way our association can contribute money to candidates’ campaigns on behalf of our profession. We cannot use membership dues for that purpose. PAC funds must come from individual donors, so we do thank our current donors. I hope you all have taken the time to view our recent PAC campaign videos outlining the importance of contributing to our PAC funds. Please consider becoming a recurring donor. All we ask for is $1 per day to protect and support your profession. Stand with your friends, your colleagues, your profession – DONATE TODAY!!
Tiffany Olson, CRNA