Nursing Direction: Where is your state going?
by, 02-24-2011 at 04:50 PM (7156 Views)
I heard an interesting statement recently. The direction you're facing is more important that where you are in the journey. I think this applies especially to the healthcare crisis that we are all facing. I am proud to say that Texas has taken a leap to the front of the class with several new developments. One: The development of a Nurse Advocate role to educate and assist nurses in Peer Review Process, Safe Harbor, Staffing options, etc. House Bill 575 has the support of not only the Texas Nurses Association but, also the Texas Hospital Association. I congratulate them on playing well with others. Secondly, the recent passing of Senate Bill 476 on December 9, 2010. The Texas State Legislature passed Senate Bill 476 that requires the establishment of The Hospital Safe Staffing Law. It requires that all Texas hospitals have a functioning nurse staffing committee. If they do not they are subject to a per day fine. The new rules address the use of Mandatory Overtime with special attention to the use of on call. It does not stop hospitals from using on call but, limits how they use of on call time as a substitute for increasing staffing. This is especially an issue in procedural and surgical areas and the nurse staffing committee must help develop a staffing plan to be sure there is no . The staffing committee must be selected by the nursing peers and 60 % of the committee must be RNs that are involved in direct care. I believe our Texas Nurses Association and the Texas Hospital Association should be applauded for coming together and finding a common ground to work our staffing issues. This is in the best interests of not only the nurses but, our patients that we are charged with caring for. It is a wonderful beginning. Now, we must all participate in the process and be involved in setting best practices while still meeting the needs of patients everywhere in the facility. Not, just on 1 unit but, in the ER, ICU, Cath Lab, etc so patients get timely care and nurses get rest so they can be at their best and do their full duty to each patient. Feel free to visit the TNA for more information on the new rules and added requirements at www.texasnurses.org , Now if we can only get them to work together in Austin and Washington on the other tough issues we face like high unemployment, poverty, education, etc. Well, one can dream canít I?