2006 TNA Legislative Summit on Capitol Hill.More than 1,400 nurses and nursing students gathered on Capitol Hill on March 28 for the 2006 TNA Legislative Summit. In past years, the Tennessee Nurses Association held two separate legislative events, one for nursing students and one for nurses. This year, the events were combined to offer a full day of political and legislative experiences to attendees.
The morning session began at the Polk Theater in the Tennessee Performing Arts Center The Tennessee Performing Arts Center, or TPAC, is located in the James K. Polk Cultural Center at 505 Deaderick Street in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, occupying an entire city block between 5th and 6th Avenues North and Deaderick and Union Streets. filled to capacity with a welcome by TNA President, Susan T. Sanders, MSN (1) (MicroSoft Network) A family of Internet-based services from Microsoft, which includes a search engine, e-mail (Hotmail), instant messaging (Windows Live Messaging) and a general-purpose portal with news, information and shopping (MSN Directory). , RN, CNAA CNAA n abbr (BRIT) (= Council for National Academic Awards) → organismo no universitario que otorga diplomas
CNAA n abbr (Brit) (= Council for National Academic Awards) → , who also outlined the role of TNA and ANA in the fight for nurses' and patients' rights The legal interests of persons who submit to medical treatment.
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Nurse Professional Liability was the topic of a session conducted by Garrett Asher, RN, who is an attorney with Parker, Lawrence, Cantrell and Dean. Asher presented the current options available for liability protection to nurses in Tennessee.
Wilhelmina Davis, TNA Lobbyist, identified TNA's legislative initiatives for 2006 and discussed other current legislation that directly impacted nurses. She encouraged attendees to let their enthusiastic voices be heard on the Hill and to visit with their legislators during the day.
John Michael Briley, MSN, RN, APRN APRN Advanced Practice Registered Nurse , BC, Chair of the TNA Government Affairs and Health Policy Committee, introduced Senator Diane Black and Senator Rosalind Kurita who also addressed the participants.
"We are here today for you, our students, but most importantly for our patients," said Briley. "Nursing is under attack on many levels and we need your involvement."
Both Senators Black and Kurita are registered nurses and discussed the importance of nurses being involved in the political process. They explained that during this legislative session, more than 4,000 bills have been introduced, approximately half of which impact health care in some way, discussing several bills of particular interest.
Laura Beth Brown, MSN, RN, TNA Vice President, gave an update on the Tennessee Nurses Political Action Committee (TN-PAC). She described the work done by the TN-PAC and how nurses could become more involved.
After the morning program, Summit participants attended a House Health and Human Resources Committee meeting and walked to Legislative Plaza to meet with legislators to voice their concerns over current legislation.
The afternoon program was held at the DoubleTree Hotel Nashville and opened with a welcome by TNA President Susan Sanders, MSN, RN, CNAA. John Michael Briley, MSN, RN, APRN, BC, introduced the speakers during the afternoon session.
Garrett Asher, RN, who is an attorney with Parker, Lawrence, Cantrell and Dean, gave a joint presentation with Mark Brostowitz of Marsh Affinity Group Services. Brostowitz and Asher discussed issues related to liability coverage for healthcare professionals and current options available for liability protection to nurses in Tennessee.
The TNA Legislative Summit concluded with a panel discussion on TennCare by healthcare representatives including Susan Cooper, MSN, RN, Director of the Tennessee Healthcare Safety Net and Special Policy Advisor to the Governor on the Uninsured; Virginia Trotter Betts, MSN, JD, RN, FAAN FAAN
Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing , Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities; Wendy Long, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer at the Bureau of TennCare; and Laura Beth Brown, MSN, RN, President of the Vanderbilt Home Health Agency and TNA Vice President.
Attendees were updated on the status of the current TennCare system following the recent revisions to streamline the program. Beginning in June 2005, TennCare began reform procedures to bring spending costs more in line with other states. Before any reform measures were implemented, TennCare provided coverage for 23 percent of the State's population--a greater percentage than any other state in the nation. Panel members also discussed how healthcare leaders and others are addressing access to care issues for Tennesseans, including Cover Tennessee, part of a multi-pronged approach by Gov. Phil Bredesen to provide affordable and portable health insurance coverage in Tennessee.
Make plans now to attend the 2007 TNA Legislative Summit to be held April 3. Location and other details will be coming soon.