med-surg nursing

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; I look forward to connecting with you.

AMSN Legislative Brief May 2019

  • Posted on: 6 May 2019
  • By: AMSN

Support Title 8
Legislation with strong funding for key AMSN workforce development and research priorities cleared its first hurdle in Congress April 30. The House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations subcommittee approved a bill (not yet numbered) providing increases in Title 8 nurse workforce development and the National Institutes of Nursing Research. It also provided level funding for the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research (AHRQ), though overall AHRQ funding was cut from expiration of a key funding source authorized by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Along with the Nursing Community Coalition, AMSN and its members have been urging Congress to support these vital funding priorities. Their next step is in the full House Appropriations Committee, expected to act early May. However, the long-term prospects for such funding increases are in question, as the bill’s overall $11 billion increase in funding depends on bipartisan congressional leaders and the Administration agreeing to increase overall domestic spending for 2020. See AMSN’s written testimony to Congress: Support this legislation:

Health Information Technology
Health information technology industry and policymakers should pay closer attention to the experience of medical-surgical nurses and other end users of health IT systems, AMSN said to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services May 3. “In the interest of patients, the involvement and leadership of nurses is crucial to successful health information
technology policy and systems development and implementation,” wrote AMSN President Robin Hertel, MSN, EdS, RN, CMSRN, in two comment letters to regulatory proposals from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology. In her comments on behalf of AMSN, Yoder:
• Supported an agency proposal to make more patient health information available to health care professionals through trusted exchange networks. “Respecting concerns that health care delivery systems may lack sufficient infrastructure to put such powerful tools to use today, as nurses we know that the more accurate, complete and timely a picture a nurse may have of a patient’s health and care history, the higher quality of care we can provide, and the more effectively we can support transition of the patient’s care and recovery to home or the next care setting,” she said.
• Supported a proposal requiring hospitals to improve the effectiveness and reliability of electronic patient notifications. “Medical-surgical nurses are commonly directly engaged in patient discharge and patient care transition. The objective of effective care transition is to support smooth recovery for the patient in a safe and supportive environment, and smooth uptake of information about changes in the patient’s condition among the health care professionals and facilities involved in the patient’s subsequent care,” she said.
“The expertise of nurses is vital to care and both governments and information technology industry would be wise to call upon nurses in support of improvement of health IT systems architecture, development, implementation and evaluation,” she concluded. Both AMSN regulatory comment letters appear here: After the public comment period closes June 4, 2019, the agency will evaluate the comments and publish a binding final rule in several months’ time.

HB 2604
Legislation in Illinois imposing rigid nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in that state conflicts with AMSN policy trusting nurses to develop safe staffing plans. AMSN has responded by sending bill sponsor State Rep. Fred Crespo (D-44th District) and key committee members a letter in opposition to the bill, HB 2604 (, on April 26. “AMSN policy states that safe staffing for patient care depends on nurse authority, patient acuity, and the skill and capability of individual nurses in a unit,” wrote AMSN President Hertel. “By contrast, HB 2604 sets fixed nurse-patient ratios in Illinois health care facilities; therefore, our organization is opposed to the legislation in its present form.” The bill would amend state laws that already require local shared governance plans to be given weight in nurse staffing decisionmaking. AMSN also noted that a proposal similar to HB 2604 was put to voters in Massachusetts last November. “The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission estimated its annual costs between $676 million and $949 million and possibly more,” adding that Massachusetts voters defeated it by a 70.2 – 29.8% margin. The full text of the letter is available here:

HB 811
Could nurses’ CMSRN and CCCTM credentials be put at risk by legislation pending in Pennsylvania? A bill introduced as HB 811 ( intended to expand pathways for persons convicted of crimes to reenter the workforce once they have paid their debts to society instead adds confusion to credentialing and licensure vital to safe health care delivery. “We respect that the intent of HB 811 is to open employment and economic opportunity for persons who have criminal records and have paid their debts to society,” wrote AMSN President Hertel to bill sponsor State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129th District). “Our organizations are concerned that HB 811 as introduced includes several problematic and unclear provisions. Its definition of ‘licensing or certifying body’ is unclear whether it applies to governmental or private entities or both. It places unusual parameters on the use of the term ‘certification,’ particularly as they might apply to medical-surgical nurses, other registered nurses, or other individuals engaged in health care delivery and administration of controlled substances.” Consistent with the recommendations of the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC) to which MSNCB belongs, AMSN recommended amending the legislation to clarify that it would apply only to state government licensing agencies and not to voluntary professional credentialing bodies. The full text of the letter is available here:

Certified Nurses Day - March 19

  • Posted on: 4 March 2019
  • By: AMSN

Certified Nurses Day - March 19

Certified Nurses Day™ honors nurses worldwide who contribute to better patient outcomes through national board certification in their specialty.

Certification affirms advanced knowledge, skill, and practice to meet the challenges of modern nursing. AMSN will feature med-surg nurses in March through our celebration of Certified Nurses Day. We encourage you to tell us, "Who Are You?" you can send 150 words or less, a photo of you and your colleagues, a special moment on your unit, or simply a short 10 second video that you think explains what the med-surg community means to you. Just click on the link to email your content.

We will share it on our Facebook page as a way to honor your commitment to med-surg!

Send Your "Who Are You?" Materials to

NY Times Weighs in on the Value of Stackable Credentials

  • Posted on: 4 March 2019
  • By: AMSN

As you know, AMSN, through our MSNCB offers certifications of CMSRN® and CCCTM® - credentialing that puts you in the driver’s seat of your career trajectory (info here: Stackable credentials are becoming the way of the future in the nursing industry, and more facilities are getting on board.

The potential for advancement and placement is blocks being assembled, NY Times recently wrote, are a “series of traditional degree-based and/or nontraditional credentials — certificates, certifications, licenses, badges, apprenticeships and more — that recognize achievements and provide an accurate assessment of knowledge, skills and abilities.” The more credentials that are accumulated and stacked, the more marketable the candidate presumably becomes.
Read the full article here: