If you’re a nurse who likes to help change nursing for the better, then speaking up about nursing issues and finding out about the latest proposals in health care law is probably right up your alley.

It’s pretty easy to know what’s important to nurses. After all, it just takes a day in a nurse’s shoes to understand some of the issues that are most pressing for nurses and the care they give to patients. But do you sometimes want to know more about what is being proposed at the highest levels of our government that could impact nursing?

There’s an easy way for you to keep track of it all, have a voice, and see what’s being proposed. GovTrack.us allows you to keep track of legislative issues up for votes and debate in Congress that could have an impact on nursing, social welfare, or patient care (among many other topics as well). This site lets you track the bill and call Congress with your opinion, but it also gives you the history of the bill and an understanding of where it stands in the process. Even more interesting to most nurses will be the perceived chance of if the bill will gain some traction and advance to President Obama’s desk.

The following are excerpts of the proposed bills and a quick summary of the bill as provided by GovTrack.us. For more detailed information about the bill, click on the link.

H.R. 398: Trafficking Awareness Training for Health Care Act of 2015

To provide for the development and dissemination of evidence-based best practices for health care professionals to recognize victims of a severe form of trafficking and respond to such individuals appropriately, and for other purposes.”

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Passed in the House of Representatives in January 2015.

S. 297: Frontlines to Lifelines Act of 2015

A bill to revive and expand the Intermediate Care Technician Pilot Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes. “

S. 275: Medicare Home Infusion Site of Care Act of 2015

A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the coverage of home as a site of care for infusion therapy under the Medicare program.“

S. 629: Making the Education of Nurses Dependable for Schools Act

A bill to enable hospital-based nursing programs that are affiliated with a hospital to maintain payments under the Medicare program to hospitals for the costs of such programs.”

H.R. 1342: Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2015

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to ensure more timely access to home health services for Medicare beneficiaries under the Medicare program, and for other purposes.”

H.R. 379: National Nurse Act of 2015

To designate the same individual serving as the Chief Nurse Officer of the Public Health Service as the National Nurse for Public Health.”

H.R. 72: Breath of Fresh Air Act

To establish a grant program for nebulizers in elementary and secondary schools.”

What do you think of these bills? Do you support them or are you do you feel they miss the mark of what’s important to nursing today?

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil
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