Nurse leaders are also pushing to extend the relaxed care access policies issued during the COVID-19 PHE through at least 2024.
The American Nurses Association has launched a write-in campaign, urging stakeholders to contact their representatives in a lame-duck Congress and press them to enact before year's end five bills promoting the nation's nursing workforce.
"We know that personalized letters have an even greater impact – if this legislation will directly impact your work or the work of a nurse you know, please consider sharing your story in the note to Congress," the ANA says in its appeal to members.
"Throughout the last two years, Congress has seen firsthand how vital nurses are to the healthcare landscape," the ANA mass email states. "The legislative asks below represent key legislation supporting our nation's nursing workforce by providing stability, safety, and mental well-being for nurses and removing barriers to care faced by nurses and the patients they serve."
The bills supported by the ANA include:
- R. 1195/S. 4182, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, which would require Occupational Safety and Health Administration to develop and enforce standards for healthcare and social service employers that will hold them accountable for protecting their employees from workplace violence.
"This issue has been a long-standing concern prior to the pandemic and recent increases in instances of workplace violence have shown why passage of this legislation is so critical," ANA says.
- R. 8812, the Improving Access and Care to Nurses (I CAN) Act, which would permanently remove care and access barriers to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses under Medicare and Medicaid.
- R. 851/S. 246, the Future Advancement of Academic Nursing (FAAN) Act, which would fund nurse education programs and increase the nurse faculty.
- R. 6087, the Improving Access to Workers' Compensation for Injured Federal Workers Act, which would amend the Federal Employees' Compensation Act to authorize NPs to certify disabilities and oversee treatment for injured federal workers.
- R. 7666, the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2021. ANA wants the bill to include H.R. 1384, the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act, which would eliminate the duplicative and burdensome requirement that providers, including APRNs, apply for a Drug Enforcement Administration waiver to dispense buprenorphine.
The ANA is also pushing Congress to extend the relaxed policies issued during the COVID-19 public health emergency through at least 2024 and work with the Biden Administration to make them permanent.
"In particular, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services waivers, removing scope of practice barriers for APRNs and expanding the use of and payment for services provided through telehealth technologies," ANA says. "All of which have demonstrated a positive impact on the health care delivery system for nearly three years."
“We know that personalized letters have an even greater impact.”
John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.
Photo credit: Washington, DC / USA - March 17 2020: Ambulances are parked outside the Capitol building after several staffers in Congress test positive for COVID-19, a deadly virus that originated in Wuhan, China. Shutterstock / Nicole Glass Photography
The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act would require OSHA to develop standards for healthcare employer accountability.
The Improving Access and Care to Nurses Act which would permanently remove access barriers to APRNs under Medicare and Medicaid.
The Future Advancement of Academic Nursing Act would fund nurse education programs and increase the nurse faculty.
The Improving Access to Workers' Compensation for Injured Federal Workers Act would amend the Federal Employees' Compensation Act to authorize NPs to certify disabilities for injured federal workers.