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Nurses Legislative Committee: NNA participating in the legislative process.

Last fall a call went out via email for volunteers willing to participate in the legislative process. The committee currently consist of the following active members: Neena Laxalt the NNA lobbyist, Tracy Singh, Betty Razor, Camille Camburn, Debra Toney, Kathy Ryan, Marena Works, Nancy Menzel, Shelia Story, Patricia Brown; participating via emails are Lisa Black, Phyllis Suiter, Patricia Van betten and an invited participant Debra Scott (Ex. Director NVSBN).

In Early January the committee met Neena Laxalt, the NNA's Lobbyist either in Las Vegas or Reno (NNA State Board officers and District Board Officers also attended). This was an informal opportunity to meet Neena and to have a brief overview of the legislative decision-making process plus develop a system of communication during the legislative session.

A weekly telephone conference calling became the most effective tool for discussion of issues or concerns with email communications in-between the weekly calls. Initially the committee divided the 1300+ Bill Draft Requests (BDR) to review and prioritize into: monitoring (M), Opposed (O), Delete (D), or support (S); then attempted to decide on the five top issues that we would focus our time and talents.

Neena updates the committee weekly via email on the legislative activities during the previous week and pending issues for the coming week; especially if the committee may need to attend and/or provide testimony. The goal of testimony before a committee hearing is to provide the members current information, research/data; or nursing concern or even propose change in language within the bill. Email alerts may be distributed when an immediate response is required either to contact the legislator by phone/email (requesting clarification on the intent of the bill), or testimony before a committee.

Key duties of the committee remain tracking of the Bill Draft Requests (BDR) that may involve patient care or nursing practice issues. At this writing BDR are being drafted into an actual formal written Bills. Monitoring a Bills' language is critical as they progress though the legislative process from committee hearing to House (Assembly/Senate) action.

The issues we foresee (at this time) where nursing will need to provide research and data are: geriatric education (six hours) required for nurses, Medication assistants, Screening of all student prior to clinicals, safe/appropriate staffing, safe patient handling, Meth legislation, Academy Health Care, Nursing license compact, nursing programs & faculty funding, civil liabilities of medical professional, creation of a mental health board, and Health care web site.

The committee will be involved in the decision process and if and when the committee needs membership input you will be contacted by email for your thoughts, opinions or concerns.
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Title Annotation:Legislative Updates
Publication:Nevada RNformation
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2007
Words:437
Previous Article:An overview of patient safety issues.
Next Article:June 6-7 National Conference to focus on apology and disclosure in health care.
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