The Florida Nurses Association conducted the 2010 Lobby Days Conference on March 16 and 17 in Tallahassee. The conference provided the opportunity for nurses to learn about issues related to nursing and healthcare, review pending legislation and meet with state legislators, according to a news release. Learning sessions included FNA Legislative Priorities, Public Speaking and Lobbying, Conducting Your Own Legislative Forum, Engaging Nurses in Public Policy, and Healthcare Reform. This year, issues of nursing interest included ARNP controlled substance prescribing and RN staffing in hospitals.RNs Christa Cook, left, and Barbara Little visited the Capitol to speak to legislators about healthcare legislation.
Of interest at the event was a Senate Bill 188, which would allow ARNPs to prescribe medications in schedules II (such as Adderall, Ritalin, Demerol, and morphine), III (such as Vicoden and Tylenol with Codeine), IV (such as Ativan, Xanax, Valium, and Ambien), and V (such as medications such as Robitussin AC for cough and Lomotil for diarrhea) in compliance with a protocol agreement with a supervising physician.
Florida is one of only two states that do not allow ARNPs to prescribe these medications to patients.FNA members Sheila Sarver, left, and Deborah Brabham also attended the event.
Also of interest was SB 114/HB 377, the Safe Nurse Staffing bill, which would hold hospitals accountable for establishing valid, reliable, unit-level nurse staffing plans. These plans would be developed in consultation with direct-care RNs and be based on each units needs and characteristics.