Last week’s Legislative Update #6 reported that SB 406 (Nelson) passed out of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee on Tuesday. While that is great news, it is just one of many steps that must be taken this session to ensure that this bill, or its House companion bill – HB 1055 (Kolkhorst), actually becomes law. APRNs must step-up their efforts to advocate for the passage of either of these bills. As stated by CNAP lobbyist, Kathy Hutto, “just because we have bills filed does not mean we have bills passed.” APRNs must step-up their efforts to advocate for the passage of either of these bills.
Concerns surface. Some key legislators are making it known that they have serious concerns with the bill language that allows physicians to delegate the ordering or prescribing of Schedule IIs controlled substances to APRNs/PAs in hospitals and for patients in hospice care. During the hearing on SB 406, one member of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee asked very pointed questions about the expertise and experience of the Texas Board of Nursing (BON), which has only one APRN on it, to adopt rules and regulations relating to the delegation of prescriptive authority for Schedule IIs.
In response to the Senator’s questions, BON executive director, Kathy Thomas, said that while there is only one APRN slot on the nursing board, there is an APRN advisory committee and they often contract with outside experts to consult on rulemaking. She said that the board will look carefully at the additional education and training necessary for APRNs to have prescriptive authority for Schedule IIs.
What can APRNs do? APRNs must educate themselves about SB 406 and HB 1055 and become very active. APRNs must meet with their legislators either at the Capitol or in their districts while the members are home. Face-to-face meetings are essential and cannot be taken lightly. APRNs must make the effort to educate their legislators about SB 406 and HB 1055 and why the passage of either of these bills will help improve Texans access to much-needed health care. If you do not make the effort, why should you expect your legislators to make the effort and support our legislation? Here are the links to these bills: SB 406 and HB 1055:
Next CNAP Capitol visits on March 6. Make plans today to come to the Capitol on Wednesday, March 6, to come advocate for the passage of SB 406/HB 1055 in Austin. Your presence and voice are needed! E-mail CNAP Public Policy Director, Trish Conradt, at email@example.com, to let her know your plans to come to Austin on March 6, so she can make appointments with your legislators’ offices. Be sure to include your address so Trish knows which legislative districts you live in because legislators want to meet with their constituents.