NEW YORK NURSE: June 2008
The American Nurses Association (ANA) House of Delegates (HOD) will meet on June 25-27 in Washington, D.C. NYSNA is sending 86 members, the largest delegate contingent of all of the constituent member groups. At the meeting, ANA election results will be announced and a number of proposals and amendments will be up for consideration.
NYSNA has submitted four action proposals on the following issues:
Healthcare Availability for Veterans and Their Families. United States veterans returning from combat often suffer from mental health disorders and chronic medical conditions. This proposal asks the ANA to support better health care for veterans and to encourage nurses to work with other healthcare providers toward early detection and treatment options for this vulnerable population.
Human Trafficking. Human trafficking impacts nearly 1 million people each year, primarily women and minors. This action item encourages ANA member associations to provide nurses with the information and skills necessary to identify and refer victims of trafficking and supports legislation to decrease the incidence of trafficking.
Access to Oral Care for the Elderly. Not one older American receives routine dental care under Medicare and less than 20% of those 75 and older have private dental insurance. This proposal calls for the ANA to raise awareness of the importance of oral healthcare among older adults and to advocate for legislation supporting that care.
Educational Advancement for Registered Nurses. The increasing complexity of technology, medications, and treatments highlights a need for nurses to continue their education. In addition, research links educational preparation and patient outcomes. This proposal asks the ANA to support initiatives requiring RNs to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing within 10 years after initial licensure. This action would apply only to future graduates of associate and diploma nursing programs; all currently licensed RNs and current nursing students would be grandparented and never need to meet the baccalaureate criterion.
In addition to the action proposals, the HOD will consider several proposed bylaw amendments, some of which, if enacted, will fundamentally change ANA. A series of amendments, if adopted, would mean that ANA would no longer be a labor union. Another amendment calls for removal of specific references to the United American Nurses and the Center for American Nursing from ANA bylaws. The rationale behind these changes is the fact that ANA’s relationships to these groups are contractual business arrangements, which should not be included in bylaws.