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.