Every New Year brings new laws. Some take effect upon a governor’s signature while others take effect the following Jan. 1. This year is no exception. New laws that might affect your nursing practice, regardless of when they were signed into law, are included in such legislation. Here is a brief list of some of those laws:
1. Illinois — The Right To Try Act (PA-99-0270) allows eligible terminally ill patients who have considered all other treatments approved by the FDA to obtain from the manufacturer an investigational drug, biologic product or device that has successfully completed Phase 1 of a clinical trial, but has not yet been approved for general use by the FDA.
2. Georgia — HB 268 amended several sections of its mandatory child abuse reporting act. The section for reporting abuse read that nurses were required to report an instance of abuse if the nurse believed a child has been abused. The section now requires the nurse to report such abuse if the nurse suspects child abuse has occurred.
3. Arizona — RNs, LPNs and CNAs are required to renew their licenses or certificates online at the Arizona Board of Nursing’s website. Licensees or certificate holders who are not permitted to use the online renewal requirement include those whose license or certificate has been revoked, suspended or denied; those who are charged with a felony or have a felony conviction; and those who are on inactive or retired status.
4. Connecticut — Public Act 15-88 allows nurses and other listed healthcare providers to provide telehealth services to clients, as long as they do so within their scope of practice and in accordance with applicable standards of care. The act requires the telehealth services to be real-time and interactive, with two-way communication technology and/or transmitting images and data recorded by camera from the patient to the provider. Excluded in the act are the use of faxes, audio-only telephone, text messaging and email, according to a summary of the Act by Robinson and Cole’s Health Law Pulse. Click “Publications + Presentations” under the “News” tab.
As a nurse licensee, you are required to know all laws that affect your practice. So, take a few minutes and check you state legislature’s website and review new laws that affect you. Your state board of nursing and your professional nursing organizations are excellent resources as well.
Remember, too, that as a nurse licensee, advocacy is an important part of your practice, for patients as well as for yourself. If you identify a problem with a law that does not support nursing or your nursing practice, contact your state legislators, or if applicable, your federal representatives, and voice your concerns to effect a change or changes in any laws that are on the books.
NOTE: Nancy Brent’s posts are designed for educational purposes and are not to be taken as specific legal or other advice.