Friday, February 13, 2009

Support HB 998, Support Nurses

I am asking you to take a few minutes to contact your State Representative and your State Senator and ask them to support HB 998.

I have told you of the frustration I face before the Board of Nursing when it comes to fighting a decision at the Board and I have blogged about it. Currently, if a nurse chooses to go to an administrative hearing before a Judge and fight the Board, the nurse can get a favorable decision by the Judge only to have the Board overturn the Judge's recommendation. This means the nurse must spend more time and money to appeal the case before District Court.

There have even been instances of other Boards (my example is the Texas Medical Board) overturning the Judge's decision to revoke a license which then allowed a physician to continue harming patients (he was nick-named Dr. Death by the media). So, the current system has the potential to harm not only licensees, but also the public. Plus, it is not a fair and just system.

HB 998 will change the current system to make the Judge's decision be the final decision and then if either the licensee or the Board wants to appeal it, they have to go to District Court. This is a great bill and we need to make sure that it gets passed. If you want to give personal examples of where the current system impacted you, please do so because it shows that you are very interested in getting the law changed. Letters and phone calls have more impact than emails, but something is better than not contacting them at all.

You can find out who represents you in the State Legislature by going to Texas Legislature online. On the right hand side is a "Who Represents Me?"

Please take a few minutes to help Texas nurses and you never know, you may be helping yourself.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Legislative Session

The Legislature is in session and the filing of the bills have started. You must keep up with the bills that are being filed regarding nursing and you must contact your state Senator and Representative regarding which bills you want them to support and which need to be fought down. The big argument that I am receiving emails about regards nursing staffing with the lines being drawn between TNA and NNOC. There are two companion bills filed right now: SB 476 and HB 591 (SB means Senate Bill and HB means House Bill). You should go to the Texas Legislature Online and read one of the companion bills to determine whether you want to urge your Legislator to support or defeat the bills. There are also bills regarding prescriptive authority for Advanced Practice Nurses and HB 70 involving Chapter 53 of the Occupations Code that impacts nurses and the BON.

Keep informed, express your wants and be represented.