Alabama State Nurses Association Nurses Day at the Capitol
Please make plans to join the Alabama State Nurses Association and the Nurse Practitioner Alliance of Alabama for Nurses Day at the Capitol. We will meet on the State House steps to let Governor Bentley and our state legislators know what issues are important to us and that we are united in our efforts to improve healthcare delivery in Alabama. You may also want to plan a visit with your own legislators in their offices on the same day.
Time: 10am - Noon
Location: Alabama State House 11 South Union Street Montgomery, AL 36130
MEDIA RELEASE 1 Feb 2012
For Immediate Release
Alabama’s nurses will convene in the state Capitol on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 to discuss issues important to the delivery of quality health care in the state.
More than 1.000 nurses and student nurses are expected to attend the rally from 10:00AM – 12:00 Noon at a blocked off Union Street in front of the Alabama State House and behind the historic state Capitol Building. The theme for the day is “Nurses at the Capitol: Alabama Nurses Advancing Healthcare Quality for All Alabamians.” The event is sponsored primarily by the Alabama State Nurses Association and the Alabama Coalition of Nursing Organizations, although many other nurses groups from around the state are participating.
“We want Governor Robert Bentley and the members of the Alabama Legislature to know about obstacles to providing quality health care to the citizens of Alabama, and the part Alabama nurses can play in helping to address the problem” said Dr. Joyce Varner, a professor at the University of South Alabama School of Nursing and the current ASNA President. “We’re looking forward to an exciting and informative day inMontgomery.”
Among the topics discussed will be the state’s impending health care crisis. Nationally, an estimated 340,000 additional registered nurses will be needed by the year 2020. An estimated 55 percent of current RNs anticipate retirement between now and 2020 as the nursing population ages and “baby boomers” begin to retire in significant numbers. In addition, Alabama’s Medicaid program anticipates adding 500,000 new patients by 2014 to the current 900,000 citizens currently enrolled as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
Alabamahas its’ own nursing shortage, but does not have a shortage of qualified applicants to enter the nursing profession. In fact, approximately 3,500 bright young people who want to go into nursing are turned away each year from state colleges because of a shortage of faculty available to teach them.
That’s why among the top items on the ASNA legislative agenda is funding for nursing scholarships to train future faculty members. Funding has decreased in recent years for graduate nursing education, and this year promises to be the most difficult yet.
ASNA is also supporting legislation to increase what advanced practice nurses, such as Nurse Practitioners, can do. This proposed change would simply allow Nurse Practitioners to do what is already included in their current scope of practice, and for which they are already trained and educated. Many other states already allow this. Unfortunately, Alabama is one of the most restrictive states in the country regarding their practice rules. Studies have shown that giving advanced practice nurses more authority and responsibility can be a significant health care cost cutting measure, while maintaining a very high quality of care standard.
Nurses Day at the Capitol 2012 will include a number of speakers, including remarks by Gov. (Dr.) Robert Bentley, Sen. Tom Whatley (R) Auburn, Rep. Craig Ford (D) Gadsden, Rep. April Weaver (R) Alabaster and Rep. Greg Wren (R) Montgomery. Other speakers include Dr. Joyce Varner, ASNA President, Deborah Andrews, Chief Nurse Executive at Cooper Green Hospital and Chair of the Alabama Coalition of Nursing Organizations; Dr. Joy Deupree, President of the Nurse Practitioners Alliance of Alabama; Dr. Kathleen Ladner, President of AlaONE; and David Hambright, CRNA and President, Alabama Association of Nurse Anesthetists.
The Alabama State University Band and songs by Dr. Bobbie Holt-Ragler will kick the program off at 10:00AM on the steps of the Alabama State House on Union St. Scheduled events will finish at 12:00 Noon. Thereafter, attendees will visit their legislators at the State House.
For more information,
Contact Joe Decker, Executive Director at ASNA