Groups urge Abbott to add nursing bills to special session agenda

Texas’s special session starts next week, and nursing organizations are urging Gov. Greg Abbott to put pro-nurse legislation on the agenda. In a letter sent to Gov Greg Abbott on Thursday, Texas Nurse Practitioners and the Texas Nurses Association called on the governor to include the removal of practice restrictions, protections from workplace violence and more during the convening.

 

 

Signed by 16 Texas nursing organizations, the letter praises the governor for his efforts to waive nursing practice restrictions during the pandemic. Citing multiple bills’ failure in this year’s legislature, the organizations said the governor should continue his support for nurses by passing the bills this month.

“…our state’s support of nurses was not backed up by the 87th Legislative Session.”

The letter lists eight failed nursing bills, including Rep. Stephanie Klick’s bill to remove practice restrictions for advanced practice registered nurses. The organizations urged Abbott to make the passage of all of these bills a priority next week.

“The legislature left unaddressed measures that would have provided protections from workplace violence, made permanent the waivers you put in place, removed unnecessary regulations, and expanded our healthcare workforce.”

Below is the full list of bills mentioned in the letter:

  •         “HB 2029 (Klick), SB 915 (Hancock) — Would have removed anti-competitive regulations for APRNs to expand access to care for Texans.
  •         HB 1524 (Lucio) — Would have allowed APRNs to prescribe Schedule II medications under delegated authority from a physician.
  •         HB 326 (Howard) — Would have required facilities to adopt workplace violence prevention plans, encouraged reporting of incidents of workplace violence, and ensured that providers receive the care they need after an incident.
  •         HB 396 (Moody), SB 433/499 (Zaffirini and Blanco) – Would have created a presumption that nurses who contracted COVID-19 did so in the scope of their employment.
  •         HB 2409 (Dean) – Would have codified the COVID-19 measure waiving CE requirements and reactivation fees for nurses who came out of retirement/reactivated their license during a disaster.
  •         HB 982 (Howard and Darby) — Would have created an expedited licensure process for APRNs who are licensed out of state.
  •         SB 146 (Powell), HB 2062 (Klick) — Would have created a loan repayment program for nurses who work in long-term care.
  •         HB 3819 (Klick and Powell) – Would have allowed school nurses to administer prescription asthma medicine to a student in emergency situations.”

“When Texas nurses are able to effectively do their jobs, and when Texas can successfully compete against other states for the best and brightest in the healthcare industry, it benefits all Texans.”

While Abbott hasn’t provided an official list of legislation to be discussed, he said he plans to bring controversial voting legislation and bills to prohibit the teaching of critical race theory back on the table. He hasn’t given any indication so far of including other initiatives in the agenda.