Urgent Legislative Action: NP Day at the Legislature 2/28/14
Dear Utah APRNs,
As announced at the NP Week Dinner in November and highlighted in the January Newsletter, Utah Nurse Practitioners is running a Bill that will remove the requirement for the consultation and referral plan in order to prescribe schedule II-III substances. The removal of the plan will increase access to the full array of health care services APRNs can provide and will decrease the costs of health care as many APRNs are paying an annual fee to the physician who is signing the plan. Whether this situation currently describes you or not, we need your support. With the implementation of the PPACA, more physicians are looking at unique ways to increase lost income. In the future you may be paying a fee for a signature on your consultation and referral plan.
The Utah Nurse Practitioners Legislative Task Force has been busy at work preparing to remove the consultation and referral plan. We announced in November and again in January that we would like ALL Utah APRNs to BE PRESENT ON FEBRUARY 28th to participate in the annual UNP Day at the Legislature. It is imperative that each APRN take an active role in shaping policy or we run the risk of having it shaped for us by other special interest groups and organizations who would continue to restrict your practice. Now is the time for you to participate in the legislative process by attending our Day at the Legislature. While committee members are actively engaged, it will require your participation in order to make a real difference as legislators want to hear from their own constituents rather than from the organization or our lobbyists. If you are new to the process, our Day at the Legislature is the perfect time to learn. We will review the key talking points and approaches to enable you to make a difference. You will be able to join with colleagues as you work together to improve your practice and improve health care for all Utahns.
As a group, we too often depend upon a few colleagues to speak for the profession and because we enjoy a relatively high level of practice authority, many of you continue to be apathetic, thinking the practice environment in Utah will always be favorable. With a stroke of a pen we can lose all that we have, including the work done by past APRN leaders. We call upon you to take a stand for your profession, for your patients, and for our state by attending and participating in the Utah Nurse Practitioners Day at the Legislature. We will assemble at 8:30 am in the Spruce Room of the Senate Building (northeast of the main capitol building). Our bill (HB 0139) will be heard that very day in the Health & Human Services Committee, and we need to demonstrate that full practice authority matters to more than a handful of APRNs.
Jared D. Johnson, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC Penny Kaye Jensen, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, FAAN President, Utah Nurse Practitioners Legislative Affairs Chair, Utah Nurse Practitioners