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This post is for informational purposes only. If you are aware of a political event that nurses may be interested in attending, please email Arlene Briscoe

The Alaska Nurses Association is awarding up to 10 training scholarships to members to attend the Alaska Legislative Process Workshop 2013 on December 13th and 14th. Please view the attached flyer for more information. To apply, simply fill out the attached scholarship application and return to Andrea Nutty, andrea@aknurse.org.   [Read More... ]

Posted in Legislation.    

The Alaska Nurses Association is proudly hosting a meet and greet with Alaska Senator Mark Begich at the AaNA office on Wednesday, July 3 at 5 p.m. Join us as we speak with Senator Begich about the issues that are important to you and all Alaska nurses. Refreshments will be provided. Please join us and bring a nurse or nursing student friend or colleague. For more information on this event, please contact Andrea Nutty at andrea@aknurse.org.

Download the documents below for more information on HB 50.  For more information please contact Debbie Thompson, Executive Director Alaska Nurses Association, at 274-0827, cell 441-9726, or debbie@aknurse.org.


Bill prohibits mandatory overtime for nurses

Sunday, April 18, 2010, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska State Senate today passed House Bill 50, which would prohibit mandatory overtime for nurses in Alaska. Representative Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell, sponsored the bill.
“There are many, many cases where nurses complete their shifts, and they are called right back in after they leave,” Wilson said. “They’re tired. They’re ready to go home. They face threats of reprisal if they refuse to serve that extra shift and exhaust themselves—and that’s just unacceptable.”

Mandatory overtime hours are those made compulsory on top of regularly scheduled hours on an assigned shift for a nurse on staff. HB 50 does not ban overtime. It allows nurses to work up to 14 consecutive hours, and then take a mandatory ten hour rest period. Exceptions are proposed for school nurses on field trips, nurses on medivac flights, or to accommodate emergencies such as natural disasters or disease outbreaks. Federal and native health agencies would be exempt. Fifteen other states—including Washington, Oregon, and California—have adopted similar rules.

"HB 50 addresses these problems in a reasonable and balanced manner, while making the work environment safer,” Wilson said. “The purpose of HB 50 is to promote better patient and nurse safety and to create an environment that will keep healthy, alert nurses at the bedside."

HB 50 now heads to the governor for signature.

# # #

To contact Rep. P. Wilson, please call 907-465-3824.

The bill now goes to the Governor for his consideration.  One more step to go before Registered Nurses of Alaska proudly join with 15 other States in taking steps to protect patient safety through law or regulation to restrict the use of mandatory overtime for nurses.

This speaks for itself after 6 years. - Next stop is consideration by Governor Parnell.

We would like to thank our Senate and House legislative sponsors, Senator Bettye Davis (District K, Anchorage) and Representative Peggy Wilson, RN (Wrangell).  Senator Davis and Representative Wilson have tirelessly advocated for the citizens in Alaska who may become patients of the health care system at any given moment. This bill is about patient safety! The bill limits RN’s & LPN’s duty time to 14 hours with 10 hours of rest. (Some specific exceptions are allowed in the bill.)  A special thanks goes to Representative Bill Stoltze (Chugiak) who was a co-sponsor and played a big role in getting the bill passed.

Fifteen states have restrictions on the use of mandatory overtime for nurses: thirteen states have enacted restrictions in law: CT, IL, MD, MN, NJ, NH, NY, OR, PA, RI, TX, WA, and WV, while two states have provisions in regulations: CA and MO.

The Alaska Nurses Association leadership and members have worked with the legislature for 6 years to educate Senators and Representatives on the need to limit the number of hours a nurse is responsible for a patient’s care. Evidence has shown that the incidence of medication errors goes up dramatically after 12 hours of work. The errors that can not be followed are the errors of omission. According to studies, after 12-14 hours of work, mental acuity and alertness are equivalent to a 0.08 blood alcohol level.  At this level, reasoning is impaired. Couple that with difficulty taking breaks and lunch during a shift, and the risk increases of nurses who may not be astute to slight changes in a patient’s condition that require immediate interventions, resulting in a longer hospital stay.

We would like to applaud all of the legislators who co-sponsored the legislation: REPRESENTATIVE(s) P.WILSON, GARA, TUCK, PETERSEN, LYNN, SEATON, GATTO, CISSNA, MUNOZ, GARDNER, Ramras, R.Foster, Kerttula, Gruenberg, Crawford, Stoltze, T.Wilson, N.Foster, Holmes, Kawasaki, & Guttenberg and cross-sponsored SENATOR(s) Thomas, Ellis, Davis, Kookesh, French, Wagoner, Paskvan, Wielechowski, & Egan. This was despite tremendous pressures from the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association (ASHNA) that the reporting mechanism would be quite onerous to the hospitals affected by this legislation in Alaska.

Debbie Thompson, RN, BSN, CNOR, Nancy Davis, MSN, RN (President AaNA),
Senator Bettye Davis and Mary Stackhouse, RN (Vice Chair AaNA Labor Council) visit while waiting for a final Senate Floor vote on HB 50

Please make sure to thank your Senator and Representative for sponsoring and/or voting for this legislation. You can find this information at http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/hs_bill_action.asp?session=26
then search for HB 50. If they did not vote for this legislation, just take a moment to educate them on the critical nature of the work that you do for the citizens of Alaska.

Finally, a special thanks to the AaNA Lobbyists Caren Robinson and Mark Hickey for the hours, weeks, months and years they have spent speaking with legislators and their staff on behalf of this very important patient safety legislation.

If you're not familiar with House Bill 50 or Senate Bill 12, check out:

The Alaska Board of Nursing has given careful consideration to the issue of RN's assisting with the education of EMT's and Paramedics in the workplace. It very clearly notes that the RN is not to delegate any procedure to the EMT or Paramedic. If this occurs at any hospital in the state and you feel it is being done above your wishes or licensure as an RN in Alaska, please share this letter with your manager and facility. If there are further questions, please contact Debbie Thompson, AaNA President at 907-274-0827.

Alaska Nurses Association  •  3701 E Tudor Road, Suite 208,  Anchorage AK 99507  •  Phone: 907-274-0827 Fax: 907-272-0292  •  Contact Us