The Catalyst for the Political Power of Nurses
When legislators want an answer on an issue regarding nursing or health care, they come the the MNA for the answer. Research clearly shows that nurses are the most trusted voice on health care issues. The MNA makes certain the bedside nurse’s voice is heard in the halls of power by helping nurses connect with elected officials on issues important to them, by linking them to legislators in their community, by supporting politicians and legislators in their community, and by helping nurses become elected to public office.
The MNA initiates and promotes sound legislation to improve health care for Massachusetts citizens and to advance the nursing profession. The Division and the Congress on Health Policy and Legislation work directly with legislators and take a proactive stand on the development of bills that have a potential impact on nursing and health care.
MNA continually monitors legislation introduced both in Massachusetts and Washington, DC. Through a grassroots network of frontline nurse activists, supported by full time lobbyists and community organizers located in every MNA region, the MNA promotes public policy that advances the interests of nurses and protects the patients and clients served by the nursing community.
Highlights from the Division of Legislation and Governmental Affairs
- Passed a law to limit the number of intensive-care unit (ICU) patients an ICU nurse can care for at a time
- Passed law to prohibit hospitals from requiring nursing staff to work mandatory overtime under most circumstances
- Passed a law to stiffen penalties for those who assault nurses and other health care providers
- Passed the Health Care ID bill to prevent management from replacing RNs with unlicensed personnel.
- Helped pass legislation to regulate managed care in Massachusetts and to prevent “drive-thru” deliveries.
- Passed legislation regulating the closure of hospitals in Massachusetts.
- Passed the Whistleblower protection bill so all nurses can speak out about unsafe patient care conditions.
- Waged a Board of Registration in Nursing Reform Campaign to prevent punitive regulations.
- Created Legislative Nursing Commission and the School Nursing Commission to develop better policy responses to a crisis in nursing care delivery.
- Founded the Coalition to Protect Massachusetts Patients, an alliance of more than 125 health care and consumer organizations fighting to pass the Patient Safety Act, legislation that will establish limits on the number of patients a hospital RN has to care for at one time.