INA Legislative Day February 18.
Culver Judge Administration--Tom Newton, Dept. of Public Health
Director Tom Newton discussed health issues in Iowa in terms of: Access, Source of Payment, Availability of Providers and the Quality and Cost of Care in the state. He reviewed what has been happening in these areas as well as goals and accomplishments of the Dept of Public Health.
Nurse Legislators - Representatives Linda Miller and Linda Upmeyer
Rep. Linda Miller reviewed some of the current legislation of interest to the nursing community before the Iowa Legislature: RN circulators, substitution of epilepsy drugs by pharmacists, coverage of routine care for individuals in clinical cancer trials and the request for licensure of direct entry midwives.
Rep. Linda Upmeyer discussed the connection between legislation and state agency rule making. She serves as the only health professional on the Administrative Rules Review Committee. She expressed her concerns about some state agencies rule making going beyond the legislation. She commented on a bill she introduced about Scope of Practice Review which would require licensing boards to agree before any rules moving forward in the rule making process.
Board of Nursing Issues
Lorinda Inman, RN, MSN, Executive Director of the Iowa Board of Nursing provided an overview of the Iowa Code sections that govern nursing practice in the state. She explained that the role of the Board of Nursing is to protect the public and not the nurse. She stated that the consumers on the Board look at delivery of care in a different manner than licensees of the profession. She also reviewed some of the recent challenges to ARNP practice in the state being made by the anesthesiologists in the area of chronic pain management and the use of fluoroscopy.
Mental Health Studies Conducted by the Dept. of Human Services
Jeanne Nesbit, Division Director of the Mental Health and Disability Services of the Dept. of Human Services addressed the attendees. She reviewed three studies regarding mental health issues: 1) Acute Care Mental Health Task Force; 2) Task Force on Closure of Mental Health Institutes; and 3) a legislator request of: If have to close an MHI, which one should be closed? She noted that there are two bills pending; one has closure of Mt. Pleasant and the other bill does not specify closure of an MHI.
She further discussed the role that nurses have in working with the large number of mental health and disability clients in Iowa who need services and encouraged all nurses to look at the mental health care in their nursing specialty.
Telling the Nursing Story
Judy Collins, RN, MA, ARNP, INA Public Policy Committee chair reviewed the 2010 INA Legislative Agenda. Lynne Himmelreich, RN, CNM, ARNP and Betty Lord Dinan, RN, INA Lobbyist role played a conversation between a nurse and a legislator on the lay midwife bill.
Visits to the Capitol by Nurses and Nursing Students
An impressive number of nurses and nursing students went to the State Capitol and made visits with the legislators about nursing issues to tell their story of health care services and patient care needs.