Legislative Brief March 2020

  • Posted on: 9 March 2020
  • By: AMSN

The Administration’s proposed $4.8 trillion 2021 budget cuts med-surg nursing funding priorities – and AMSN and The Nursing Community are working to restore the funding. In its 2021 budget released Feb. 10, the Administration proposed:

• Eliminating all Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs, except the Nurse Corps;
• Reducing Nurse Corps funding by $5.5 million for a total of $83.135 million;
• A nearly $3 billion or 10% cut to the National Institutes of Health;
• Reduction in National Institute of Nursing Research for a total of $156.804 million; and,
• Lowering funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) by about a quarter, to $355 million.

Who will deliver health care today and tomorrow if the need for nurse workforce development, research and innovation is not met now? AMSN and nurse groups were successful in 2019 reversing major cuts – but this is a new year with a new challenge. In response to these deep cuts, AMSN and the Nursing Community Coalition to which AMSN belongs are communicating with Congress this clear message: Reverse the cuts and support nursing priorities for better health and access to care.

Watch your email inbox and the AMSN Med-Surg Nursing Advocacy Hub community for opportunities to take action and be heard!

What are AMSN’s advocacy plans and how can med-surg nurses engage? AMSN Legislative Team chair Yalanda Comeaux, MSN, MJ, RN, CMSRN, and legislative consultant Frank Purcell conducted a live webinar on this topic last fall, titled “Be Heard for Your Patients: Health Policy & Advocacy for Med-Surg Nurses.”

Now it’s available for AMSN members through our online library! This one-hour program will educate you as a med-surg nurse about the fundamentals of advocacy, AMSN’s agenda, and AMSN’s advocacy plans for now and the future that invite your engagement and support your profession! Visit the online library here: https://library.amsn.org/amsn/search/0/query?q=Be%20Heard%20for%20Your%2....

CEO's Corner - March 2020

  • Posted on: 9 March 2020
  • By: AMSN

Setting Our ‘Site’ on Growth and Innovation
Terri Hinkley, EdD, MBA, BScN, RN, CAE
Chief Executive Officer, AMSN & MSNCB

By now most of you know that AMSN is working on a new AMSN website. I’ve talked in a couple of my columns about AMSN’s new website and AMSN President Robin Hertel told attendees about it at our convention in September. Well, it’s been a labor of love and we’re finally getting to the finish line with our development and content, so I thought I’d tell you about our new website and what you can expect when it goes live early this spring!

AMSN’s new website is completely redesigned with you in mind. When the Board of Directors approved this project, they were clear they wanted a fresh, attractive, user-friendly interface that was mobile-friendly and easily navigated. We decided the best way to do that was to involve our members in the process. We contracted with web designers that specialized in user experience and cutting-edge technology. Our user experience consultant conducted focus groups, surveys, tree-test task exercises and usability testing. What does that mean? It means the website was designed based on your input and feedback, so it will contain the information you need/want and is structured in a way that makes sense to you.

Next, we did a complete content analysis of our current website. Our current website contains so much rich information but some of the content needs to be refreshed. Some of it is buried within a large amount of content, which makes it very difficult to find. Our content specialist went through every single page of the website and identified the content that would be important to keep and update – and determined the content that could be retired. Our content strategy also identified how we would present content and how we would share external content. The content on the new website will be relevant, important, insightful and will contain the necessary context for your practice. We’re still working on the content migration, but we’re thrilled with how it’s coming along.

We are also interested in sharing member stories on the new site. In our “Membership” section, we’ll have places to announce a job move or promotion (Members on the Move), and to share your personal stories about nursing life (In Your Own Words). Until those sections are ready, please drop us a line with your update or story to membership@amsn.org!

Lastly, our architecture team worked on the structure, design, and format of the website. This has been a labor of love, for sure! We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to build some critical integrations to improve your experience. If you are a member or customer of AMSN and you’re logged into your AMSN account, you will see content that is relevant to you, your role, and your interests. So, if you haven’t updated your account profile recently, please head over to amsn.org/membership and make sure we have the most current information about you. We also are excited about our search functionality on the new website. It’s a proprietary search functionality that spans all the properties for AMSN, whether it be on the website, the online community, the online library, podcasts or blogs and consolidates the search results from all these properties right in the website. It’s ground-breaking and brings all the content and resources AMSN has – right to your fingertips.

We appreciate your patience as we finalize the new website. It’s been over a year-long project and the staff have worked diligently to bring this new website to fruition. It has taken longer than expected but we know that it will be worth it. Stay tuned, it won’t be much longer now…and soon we’ll all be enjoying a fabulous web experience!

Robin's Nest President's Column - March 2020

  • Posted on: 9 March 2020
  • By: AMSN

Celebrating Certification!
Robin Hertel, EdS, MSN, RN, CMSRN President, AMSN

I’ve shared my story about my first convention with you previously. What I haven’t told you about that convention is that my colleague and I also attended the AMSN Certification Review Course prior to the start of convention and then stayed over an extra day to sit for the certification examination which was in a paper and pencil format. Our days were spent in class and our evenings were spent studying and quizzing each other. On the day of the exam, we were both quite nervous although we finished feeling okay about how we did. The wait for results was longer then, about 6 weeks, and we both were anticipating and fearing the notification at the same time.

While my experience is most likely different from yours, several things remain the same. Nurses who obtain specialty certification in their field of practice are dedicated to providing the best patient care they can. They demonstrate this commitment to nursing and their patients by preparing for and receiving certification. In addition, certification – and recertification, validates competency in the specialty of medical-surgical nursing and demonstrates a mastery of knowledge and skills, establishing the nurse as an expert in their field.

Other benefits of certification include opportunities for career advancement and mobility, with additional benefits of additional pay in some cases and better patient outcomes. Studies have demonstrated links between specialty certification and improved quality of care which lead to better patient outcomes. Nurses who have specialty certification serve as role models for their colleagues and for students. I have been a CMSRN for more than 15 years and I still stand a little taller and have a sense of pride every time I add those initials behind my signature.

March 19th is Certified Nurses Day. It is a day to celebrate the accomplishment of going above and beyond the standard of care, of your accomplishment and dedication to lifelong learning and improved quality of care. I hope the facility or unit you practice on celebrates this one day in recognition of all that certified nurses bring to the table. In most cases, this is a voluntary rather than a mandatory requirement. I recently made a call to notify a unit of their achievement of the PRISM Award and I was so pleased to learn that 71% of the nursing staff on this particular unit held a specialty certification!

Now that’s commitment and a great reason to celebrate!

If you are interested in learning more about certification, products that help with certification preparation including test questions or review courses, please visit the AMSN website. There is a tab on the website that will take you to these resources as well as information on the FailSafe Certification Program; this is a program designed for facilities that want to promote certification. I encourage you to check it out!

Regardless of where you are on your certification journey, take some time to celebrate you and your ongoing commitment to the specialty of medical-surgical nursing!

MSNCB President's Message: Understanding the Presence and Expertise of Med-Surg Nurses

  • Posted on: 18 February 2020
  • By: AMSN

By: Antoinette Falker, RN, DNP, GCNS-BC, CMSRN, CBN
MSCNB Board President

Med-Surg nursing is not only its own specialty, it is the foundation of all nursing specialties. As Med-Surg nurses we specialize in the care of increasingly complex patients with a dizzying array of illnesses. Our patients present for medical care, trauma care, surgical procedures, and even end-of-life care. We provide nursing care in many different practice arenas including hospitals, long-term care facilities, extended-care facilities, rehabilitation centers, doctor’s offices, clinics, home health, hospice, schools, universities, and industrial facilities.

In the healthcare arena, we as med-surg nurses assess patients, develop plans of care, implement the care plans, and modify the care plans according to the patient’s needs and wishes. In the educational arena, as med-surg nurses we are responsible for the education of our patients and their families, student nurses, graduate nurses, and annual nursing skills & competencies. For patients and their families, we provide discharge education, home supplies, and the equipment necessary for managing illness in the home environment. For student nurses and graduate nurses, we are the preceptors, charge nurses, and nurse managers. For those entering the field of nursing or returning to school for advanced degrees, we are faculty and clinical educators. In schools and industrial facilities, we are school nurses and occupational health nurses who are responsible for managing the health and wellness of students and employees. There are so many more arenas in which med-surg nurses practice. I have only named a few practice areas and I apologize for those I have omitted.

As med-surg nurses, we should be immensely proud of our specialty and the many ways we serve our communities. We need to applaud ourselves on the lives we save, and the skill sets we have with which to do so. We should be proud to serve as med-surg nurses and to seek the specialty certification of Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN®). We must start proclaiming the specialty of medical-surgical nursing!

Coming soon, you will receive your own CMSRN Digital Badge! You will have the ability to share your badge on your email signatures, LinkedIn, and your social networks. Clicks on the digital badge will instantly show your certification and your professional association. As Dr. Seuss once said, “The Time Has Come, The Time is Now.” Happy March 19, 2020, Certified Nurses Day!

AMSN Legislative Brief February 2019

  • Posted on: 9 February 2020
  • By: AMSN

Med-surg nursing is a profession, Title 8 nurse workforce programs are vital, and smart research into nursing workforce is critical to improving health and health care in America. That's what AMSN President Robin Hertel, EdS, MSN, RN, CMSRN, and a med-surg nursing leadership delegation said in a meeting with top officials of the federal Health Resources and Services Administration in suburban Washington, DC.

Joined on Jan. 27 by AMSN President-elect Summer Bryant, MSN, RN, CMSRN, with CEO Terri Hinkley, EdD, MBA, BScN, RN, and legislative consultant Frank Purcell, the team met Bureau of Health Workforce Associate Administrator Dr. Luis Padilla, MD, FAAFP, Senior Advisor Capt. Sheila Pradia Williams, RPh, MBA, and several of their senior colleagues.

AMSN President-elect Bryant, CEO Hinkley, and President Hertel met HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce Associate Administrator Padilla in suburban Washington.

“Med-surg nursing is a vital profession,” said President Hertel. “As its leaders, we have the opportunity and responsibility to make the voice of med-surg nursing heard among the people shaping our practice and affecting our patients. Just as we advocate for patients in health care settings, we advocate for patients before policymakers and key officials.”

AMSN leaders also met Future of Nursing 2020-2030 project director Susan Hassmiller, RN, PhD, FAAN, and thanked her for joining AMSN for a recent Med-Surg Moments podcast. In 2019, AMSN was part of the Future of Nursing project’s Washington opening and town meetings across the country, providing witnesses and submitting testimony supporting the role and value of med-surg nursing. The panel’s new report is due to be published late 2020. Listen to Dr. Hassmiller discuss the social determinants of health on a recent Med-Surg Moments podcast.

AMSN has advised the Medicare agency to eliminate barriers to care provided by nurses, recognize the importance of nursing leadership in health care facilities, and integrate med-surg nurses more fully into the major agency’s communication initiatives. Over the signature of President Hertel, AMSN’s Jan. 17 recommendation to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma was delivered in response to an agency request for feedback on the topic of scope of practice. See the CMS request here.

The 2020 federal budget process just finished, but the President’s 2021 budget proposal is on the doorstep. It is due to be submitted to Congress Feb. 10, a week after his Feb. 4 State of the Union address in the chamber of the House of Representatives. AMSN will be reviewing and listening for med-surg nursing priorities like funding for Title 8 nurse workforce development programs, support for the National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR), and continuing the work of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The Administration budget is important but only a proposal. Congress has the power to provide funding through appropriations bills – and med-surg nursing voices will be vital!

Be heard in Washington! AMSN’s new Legislative Action Center strengthens your voice. Through this new online resource, you can learn about vital AMSN policy issues, your own state and federal legislators, and make your voice heard. Our current calls to action urges Senators and Representatives in Washington to support Title 8 nurse workforce development legislation, and to take a practical, public health approach to reduce gun violence in America by funding critical research, supporting background checks, and treating not stigmatizing persons with mental illness.

Take action now!

Your voice matters – watch your email for the AMSN 2020 Legislative Survey! So that AMSN’s agenda and advocacy may align with the issues and actions members find most important, watch your email inbox and click to answer. Your voice will help ensure that AMSN’s voice is strong and consistent with the values and priorities of med-surg nursing!

What are AMSN’s advocacy plans and how can med-surg nurses engage? AMSN Legislative Team chair Yalanda Comeaux, MSN, MJ, RN, CMSRN, and legislative consultant Frank Purcell conducted a live webinar on this topic last fall, titled “Be Heard for Your Patients: Health Policy & Advocacy for Med-Surg Nurses.” Now it’s available for AMSN members through our online library! This one-hour program will educate you as a med-surg nurse about the fundamentals of advocacy, AMSN’s agenda, and AMSN’s advocacy plans for now and the future that invite your engagement and support your profession. Click here to learn more.

Robin's Nest President's Column - February 2020

  • Posted on: 9 February 2020
  • By: AMSN

Do Something You Love

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, dedicating some time to something you love is a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday. Of course, we share the love with friends and family, but how much time to you share the love with yourself by doing something just for you? You are kind and care for others – it’s a part of who you are as a nurse. Who better to pamper for a few hours this month than yourself?

Research has demonstrated time and again that taking the time for self-care has multiple benefits including improving your physical and mental health by reducing stress. We have greater resilience and are better able at addressing stressful situations when we are feeling our best physically and emotionally. Making self-care a part of your routine is one way to prevent burnout. Taking time out for some self-pampering conveys a strong message to others – you value yourself. So, take a stroll in the park, set aside some time when you won’t be disrupted to soak in the tub, go to a local bookstore and browse the shelves, sit in a quiet place and leisurely enjoy a cup of tea.

I can imagine that you might be thinking that you don’t have the time to drink water throughout the day, much less sit and leisurely enjoy a beverage! The good news is that time isn’t the factor here – you and what you enjoy is. Your chosen activity should be something that meaningful to you, something that you enjoy and are passionate about. When I take the time to indulge myself, I enjoy the comforting activities above, but I am passionate about nursing. I love my role as a member of AMSN’s board of directors; our meetings fill me up because I have an opportunity to talk about nursing and what we can do to improve the practice and support our members. And I am so thankful for every one of the board members and their families. Everyone is so generous with their time and talent, often spending time in the evenings working for AMSN.

Do you have something that you are passionate about? Something that supports your values and lifts you up? I would encourage you to spend some time this month enjoying your passion. Why not make a list of things that make you feel grateful, happy, inspired or fulfilled and then find ways to incorporate them into your life? Make it a regular habit to indulge yourself; don’t put it off for when you ‘have more time’. Invest in you – your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Commit to some time every day to do something small for yourself and then enjoy it. (Personally, I’m a big fan of letting a piece of dark chocolate melt slowly in my mouth. I enjoy the taste, the textures, and the little boost it gives me.)

I wish you all a wonderful Valentine’s day and I hope that you’ll share what you do for yourself with members by posting something on the HUB!

CEO'S Corner - February 2020

  • Posted on: 9 February 2020
  • By: AMSN

Digital Badges are Coming Soon!

The world is going increasingly digital. That shouldn’t be a surprise to any of you, all you have to do is look around you at almost every corner of your life to see the impact technology and digitalization are having. AMSN is embracing technology and digital tools to help you demonstrate your achievements and easily share your accomplishments.

To that end, we’re very excited to tell you that this month we will be rolling out digital badges for members and certificants. These digital badges share information with your network about your AMSN membership and your MSNCB certification. You can display your badge in your email signature, your Professional Briefcase®, and your social media accounts. If you haven’t heard about the Professional Briefcase® check it out here: www.amsn.org/digital-toolkit. The briefcase was developed by Praos Health, and through a strategic partnership it is a free member benefit for AMSN members.

We know that you like or need to provide proof to your employer for your certification, and now you can do so easily with our digital badge! The digital badge is secure and provides information on what the certification credential is in addition to providing the date you earned the certification and when it will expire. MSNCB partnered with BadgeCert to provide the digital badges and in the coming weeks you will receive an email from BadgeCert to collect your digital badge. Please be sure to download your digital badge and share it far and wide! Oh, and if you like a paper certificate to display at home or at work, you can print your certificate from your digital badge platform.

We look forward to seeing you display your membership and/or certification badges and helping you share the details of your membership/certification with your employer, family, friends and anyone else you want to share it with. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions, we’re here to help! You can email me at terri.hinkley@amsn.org.

AMSN Legislative Brief January 2019

  • Posted on: 8 January 2020
  • By: AMSN

Your voice matters – watch your email for the AMSN 2020 Legislative Survey! So that AMSN’s agenda and advocacy may align with the issues and actions members find most important, watch your email inbox and click to answer. Your voice will help ensure that AMSN’s voice is strong and consistent with the values and priorities of med-surg nursing!

What Medicare policy barriers exist between patients and their health care professionals? The Medicare agency posted a notice Dec. 26 asking the public’s insights into eliminating or changing policy that keeps Medicare patients from access to the care they need, or having to pay higher prices for care. AMSN is reviewing the notice, which is available here. The notice is consistent with a June 24 presidential “Executive Order on Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patients First.” Public comments are due to Medicare by Jan. 17, 2020.

In the New Year, many states are beginning their legislative sessions this month. AMSN is monitoring key issues for med-surg nurses and their patients. For example:

• In Pennsylvania, the state House is set to take up SB 637, promoting expanded licensure opportunities for ex-offenders without affecting voluntary certification programs like MSNCB. This important bill passed the Senate last fall. AMSN worked through the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC) to help block an earlier bill (HB 811) that would have interfered with important voluntary licensing programs for med-surg nurses and other health care professionals.
• In Illinois labor groups are organizing to move legislation in 2020 establishing mandatory nurse-patient staffing ratios. AMSN policy supports med-surg nurses making staffing decisions at the local level, not one-size-fits-all government staffing plans. In 2019, AMSN sent a letter of opposition to Springfield about a previous staffing ratio mandate bill that died in the legislature and was not enacted into law.
• In New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation eliminating prior authorizations for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in commercial health plans, but vetoed similar legislation expanding access to care for persons with opioid use disorder with Medicaid health plans. Because the opioid crisis affects so many people including med-surg nurses, AMSN monitors opioid crisis legislation as part of its legislative agenda.

Robin's Nest President's Column - January 2020

  • Posted on: 7 January 2020
  • By: AMSN

Expand Your Boundaries of Influence
Robin Hertel, EdS, MSN, RN, CMSRN President, AMSN

On occasion I have wondered whether my role as a nurse has had much of an impact. I realize that caring for a patient is important to the patient and their family, but I felt like I needed to have a larger, more encompassing impact. This was actually one of the reasons I went into education and why I began my service as a volunteer with AMSN. Perhaps you may have felt the same way at one time or another.

When I was making resolutions and goals for this year, I decided that one of my goals was to stretch myself and venture outside of my comfort zone more often. This promotes continued growth and prevents boredom and stagnation. Channeling restlessness or a desire to do something different in a way that will make a positive impact is truly a goal worthy of 2020.

As I enter into my last year as service as the president of AMSN, I wanted to provide encouragement to others to seek out ways to stretch themselves and expand their boundaries of influence. Few things are more satisfying than service to others. What’s even better is there are so many ways this can be done!

You may want to consider volunteering at a local senior center to provide blood pressure checks and teaching about heart healthy living. If you enjoy social media, actively engage in platforms and promote the profession of nursing. And be sure to look for calls for volunteers from AMSN or check out the website for opportunities!

Another way to make a positive impact is to serve on a board or volunteer for an organization or in your own community. As the largest sector of health care providers who provide services for patients and their families at the point of care, we bring a unique perspective to the table. Nursing has long been considered the most trusted profession in the US and we have a wide knowledge-base regarding health care systems, patient and community needs, and barriers to accessing care. We have advanced communication skills in multiple situations in addition to critical thinking skills and the ability to use measurement and outcome data when making decisions. What organizations wouldn’t benefit from having a nurse on board?

I can tell you that in my experience, few things have been as rewarding as my service as a volunteer with AMSN. I have learned more and met more wonderful members and national leaders than I ever would have expected. I have become better at my job because of the unique leadership opportunities I’ve been fortunate enough to take advantage of. I have made lasting friendships that include not only other nurses, but also influencers in the legislative arena, in corporate America, and internationally. I never could have dreamed that service could be this rewarding.

Nurses have the opportunity to serve in local, state, and national offices as well as a wide variety of public and private corporations. The list is really limited only by your imagination. What are you passionate about? How can you expand your boundaries of influence as a nurse?

CEO'S Corner - January 2020!

  • Posted on: 7 January 2020
  • By: AMSN

AMSN is Here For You
Terri Hinkley, EdD, MBA, BScN, RN
Chief Executive Officer, AMSN & MSNCB

Welcome to 2020, the start of a new decade and the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, brought to us by The World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization. I’m so excited to have a full year to celebrate you, our members!

AMSN has conducted several surveys over the past year, to ensure that we’re meeting your needs and to guide the new programs and services we’re building. We’ve asked you about membership, convention, education and advocacy. Your feedback is critical to our success, and we are grateful for all of you that took the time and effort to provide your feedback. We have listened to everything you said and are working to make AMSN an even stronger more vibrant and relevant community for all of you.

As a result of your feedback and the hard work of the board of directors and AMSN staff, AMSN is developing different programs and services to help you be the best medical-surgical nurses you can be. Educational programs, certificate programs, medical-surgical nursing competencies, CMSRN® certification preparation materials, new research that will inform and guide the work that we do, and so much more.

Also, in just about a month or so, we will be rolling out our brand-new website. Again, you helped us all along the way to help it come to fruition. Whether you participated in a survey, responded to an email with your concerns, or highlighted something you thought should be there, you helped create it just as much as our tech team of developers have. You reached out to us to explain what you want to see, how you’d like to engage, and what information means the most to you hone your skills and elevate your practice. You shared what tools you’ll need to better serve your patients. We can’t wait to hear what you think when you see it.

We’ll also be launching a beautiful new layout and content direction for our Med-Surg Matters publication, based on feedback and input you have given us. We’ll be giving thoughtful editorial coverage to our members, chapters, and partners to highlight all of the good work in the med-surg community. We’ll make sure unsung heroes don’t stay that way for long. We’ll help shed light on what it’s really like to be you – a med-surg nurse – in this day and age. Within the pages, we’ll also take a deeper dive into the stories and experiences that make our med-surg nurses so amazing. We are relying on each and every one of you to tell us your stories, share your successes, your fears, and your hopes. In the new Med-Surg Matters – you are the center of what matters.

We are so excited to celebrate you over the course of 2020, and beyond. Please feel free to reach out with any comments or suggestions you might have for programs, the new site, or the new publication. Or, about anything you’d like to share. You are at the heart of all we do. My email is terri.hinkley@amsn.org; I look forward to connecting with you.