Your Professional Organizations: What We Do and How We Work
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ARNPs United of Washington State coordinates legislative and networking activities throughout the state. Our legislative committee monitors actions in Olympia and submits comment on issues affecting NP Practice. We participate in regulatory activities, such as the rule writing to include Clinical Nurse Specialists as ARNPs.
Our Board of Directors, consisting of 9-13 members, meets every other month, by telephone conference call and is open to member participation. The annual membership meeting occurs on the Thursday lunch break of the annual Primary and Acute Care conference co- sponsored with the University of Washington Department of Continuing Nursing Education. Our next annual members meeting will be on November 5, 2015 at the Washington State Convention Center. The
Board of Directors holds an annual retreat every January where we select officers and determine our agenda for the coming year.
Help us help you by reading ARNP Care, our monthly newsletter, and staying informed of current statewide NP issues. Join and keep us financially strong to improve our communications and reach out to state representatives and strengthen their support of NP practices. We now use Facebook and Twitter to reach more of the 5400 ARNPs licensed in Washington. We want parity reimbursement, but until we have strength of support among our members we won't be able to get it through the legislature.
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners is your national organization. Though much of their energy is directed at expanding the number of full practice authority states, we benefit in several critical ways. AANP presses to overcome barriers to NP practice imposed by Medicare restrictions. Already rules on ordering home oxygen and portable X-rays have been revised. AANP facilitates media exposure of NPs, in print, television and radio. AANP is actively working to change the Veteran's Administration nursing handbook, endorsing independent practice for NPs employed by the VA in states that have not yet acquired full practice authority.
Meeting with regional NP groups, the most consistent complaint I hear (after pay and reimbursement) pertains to Medicare restrictions; ordering Durable Medical Equipment, Home Health Care, Skilled Nursing and Hospice services. Your stories matter. It's easy. Go to the AANP Home Page and click on "Advocacy Center". Send a form letter or customize a letter to your representative, even if you are not an AANP member. Describe how restrictive Medicare practices have delayed services to your patient or increased health care costs. Joining AANP supports our media efforts and represents you in Washington, D.C. State and Region X representatives to AANP do outreach and communicate to the national organization.
Regional NP groups meet in different ways, for different purposes. All provide an opportunity for you to meet colleagues, share social time and network. Some offer CE, others a meal. Active groups include Spokane, TriCities, Mt Baker/Bellingham, Olympia, Yakima, West Sound and Puget Sound, in Seattle. The East Side NP Association has merged with Puget Sound NPA. I would love to hear from NPs in Southwestern Washington and the Wenatchee areas.
NP specialties have state chapters, NAPNAP for Pediatric NPs, WANA for Nurse Anesthetists, the Washington State Chapter of the American College of Nurse Midwives and the Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners Association. Each monitors national and statewide regulatory issues.
Lastly, the Washington State Nurses Association supports ARNPs United with lobbying services, regulatory representation and coordinating a coalition of ARNP groups to anticipate legislation and plan actions protecting and enhancing NP practice.
Your local, state and national organizations work to help optimize your practice environment. Please contact me with questions or updates on your organization, Nancy Lawton, firstname.lastname@example.org. You need to do your part by joining ARNPs United of Washington State and AANP Today.