The following is an excerpt from the Florida Chapter's September 2010 Sapna Sensorium:

An update on legislative affairs in Florida, courtesy of the APNA Florida Chapter.

Florida's 2010 Legislative Session ended Friday, April 30th.  This session focused primarily on budget negotiations and addressing the state's projected $3 billion short fall for 2010-2011. 

Here are several highlights:

  • Regulation by Board of Nursing-HB 1337/SB 2530 by Representative Denise Grismsley, RN and Senator J.D. Alexander.  This bill was a clarification bill from the 2009 legislative session and included definition of such nurse accrediting agencies as NLN-AC and CCNE.  If a program is accredited by one of those two agencies, the program will essentially be exempt from the Board of Nursing's juridiction.
  • The House and Senate both proposed expansion of the Medicaid Refor which is currently up and running in Broward, Duval, Clay, Baker, and Nassau counties.  The reform entails that all Medicaid recipients are placed in Medicaid HMOs.  There has been some cost savings, but also significant debate and concern regarding access to care as well as provider and recipient satisfaction.
  • The funding for the Florida Center for Nursing was eliminated from both the House and Senate budgets.  According to Anna Small, the Center still exists and now, more than ever, your support is critical.  Please visit the Center's website to see how you can help:  www.flcenterfornursing.org.  Executive Director Mary Lou Brunell is more committed than ever to maintaining the Center as the premier source of nursing workforce information.
  • Safe Staffing SB-114/HB 377 by Senator Dave Aronberg and Representative Ron Brise:  This bill requires acute care centers to have collaborative councils with the participation of direct patient care RNs.  The councils will develop a staffing plan for each individual patient care unit based on the ANA principals on staffing.  This bill was not heard during the 2010 session.
  • Controlled Substance Prescribing by ARNPs SB 188/HB 677 by Senator Mike Bennett and Representative Juan Carlos Zapata:  This bill would permit ARNPs to prescribe controlled substances to their patients who need them.  This bill was not heard during the 2010 session.

Read more from the SAPNA Sensorium