Legislation impacts nursing careers, shapes health care policy and influences the care delivered to patients.
The AAACN Board of Directors understands how legislation and regulations directly impact the organization, its members and ambulatory care nursing.
Since Health Care Reform is one of the biggest issues in health care today, the AAACN strategic plan includes objectives and strategies to inform and engage members about Health Care Reform.
Strategies include using available communication to inform members about Health Care Reform and to create interactive forums to engage members in Health Care Reform. One way we are doing this is through the Health Care Reform column that appears in the ViewPoint newsletter. Another way is through the establishment of our Legislative Team.
Members of the team review legislative initiatives and determine if AAACN should support or not support legislation that will affect AAACN members and the practice of ambulatory care nursing.
To address the legislative issues, nurses need to be aware of the power we have as respected professionals to influence health care policy. Our goal is to encourage nurses to take advantage of the power we have in numbers and influence to affect the shaping of health care policy and to become politically active in the legislative process.
Members of the Legislative Team review legislative initiatives related to nursing practice on an ongoing basis. Through AAACN's involvement with the Nursing Community, a forum for professional nursing organizations to collaborate on a wide spectrum of healthcare and nursing issues, including practice, education, and research, the team reviews and determines if AAACN should support, or not support legislation that will affect AAACN members, and the practice of ambulatory care nursing.
AAACN has endorsed the following Nursing Community Coalition's (NCC) legislative initiatives:
- Employer Participation in Student Loan Assistance Act (H.R. 795/S. 796) - Letters were sent to Senators Warner, Thune, and King as well as Representatives Davis and Peters thanking them for introducing S.796/H.R. 795, which would amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow employers to offer a tax-free benefit to put toward an employee’s student loan repayment. Read the letters: Letter 1 | Letter 2.
- Nursing Community Coalition Responds to the AMA's Latest Strategy that would reverse access to care - At the recent AMA House of Delegates Interim meeting, the association adopted an amended resolution to create a national strategy to obstruct state and national policies that would allow “non-physician” providers, including Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), from practicing to the full extent of their education, clinical training, and certification. The Nursing Community Coalition issued a statement in response to the American Medical Association’s resolution to create a national strategy to obstruct state and national policies that would allow “non-physician” providers, including APRNs, from practicing to the full extent of their education, clinical training, and certification. Read the statement.
- Addiction Treatment Access Improvement Act of 2017 - A letter was created thanking Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) for introducing the Addiction Treatment Access Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 3692). This legislation seeks to broaden the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 823 (g)(2)(G)) to allow APRNs to use their clinical training and expertise to provide care to those suffering from opioid addictions. Read the NCC thank you letter.
Nurse in Washington Internship (NIWI)
Are you looking for a way to influence health care legislation but not sure where to start? Attend the Nurse in Washington Internship (NIWI) March 11-13, 2018.
Learn from health policy experts and government officials, network with other nurses, and gain hands-on experience through scheduling visits and meeting with members of Congress.
NIWI is open to any RN or nursing student that is interested in an orientation to the legislative process.
The following articles address the role of the nurse in the legislative process, how a bill becomes a law, and the basics of lobbying. Links to legislative resources are also provided.
- AAACN's Legislative Team
- Legislative Links
- American Mobile
- American Nurses Association
- National Nurses United
- United States Government Bills on Govtrack
- United States House of Representatives - Provides information on committees, representation, schedules and summaries of House floor debates, and information on contacting elected representatives.
- United States Senate - Senators, Committee Records, and schedules.
- The White House - Provides information on current issues, applications for appointments, cabinet members, opportunities for email updates and live chats with government officials.