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Oklahoma Nurses Association Legislative Agenda

Oklahoma Nurses Association is the professional association representing the state’s registered nurse population. ONA is involved in the shaping of public policy about health care which is consonant with the goals of nurses, nursing and public health. ONA is committed to ensuring that the registered nurse is an essential provider in all practice settings and advocates for access to quality health care services for all individuals. (See other Helpful Links on Legislative Issues at the bottom)

Therefore, Oklahoma Nurses Association will support legislation and health care policy which:

  • Facilitates the development of a system of health care delivery that emphasizes prevention, health promotion and appropriate monitoring of quality and user satisfaction
  • Supports a basic core of essential health care services that are accessible to all citizens of Oklahoma
  • Incorporates nurses at all levels of policy-making and decisionmaking regarding the health care system
  • Assures funding to meet health care needs including recognition and remuneration for services rendered by nurses
  • Assures the delivery of health care by duly qualified providers as a means to protect the consumer
  • Recognizes the Oklahoma Board of Nursing as the sole regulatory authority for professional nursing practice, including adequate resources for the agency
  • Promotes funding for professional nursing education and research at both the basic and advanced levels

ONA Legislative Priorities 2017

  • Funding
    • Ensure adequate funding for vital health care related services, including direct care, disease prevention and health promotion. Shortfalls in health and behavioral health services will increase costs in other areas of the state’s budget, and will lead to dire negative consequences for individuals, families, and communities, placing all at risk. When funding falls below critical levels, every other health priority for nurses is negatively impacted. Nursing is one of the few professions in Oklahoma providing care to our citizens from cradle to grave.
  • Governance – Preserving the Board of Nursing’s oversight and regulation of nursing practice
    • Nursing is the largest group of healthcare providers; LPN, RN and APRN, each one with its own unique scope of practice, is already a consolidated Board. Ensuring professional nursing oversight of this board provides for the critical health and safety of the public. This self-sustaining, non-appropriated Board contributes revenue to the state general fund while providing for efficient, focused regulation of the nursing profession.
  • Nursing Practice
Access to efficient, competent health care is supported when licensed Nursing professionals practice to the full extent of their scope of practice. Competent Nursing Practice ensures the health and safety of every Oklahoman.
    • Full Practice Authority: Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia give APRNs full practice authority, allowing them to use their knowledge, skills and judgment to the full extent of their education and training. Currently, Oklahoma law requires APRNs to enter into an agreement with a physician for supervision of their prescriptive authority. Many APRNs must pay a flat fee or a percentage of revenues to the physician for the agreement. This drives up health care costs, limits consumer choice and the accessibility of health care throughout our state, while placing a needless financial burden on APRNs.
    • Prescriptive Authority: Under current Oklahoma law, APRNs are only allowed to prescribe Legend drugs and Schedules III-V, even with supervision by a physician. In other states, APRNs are also allowed to prescribe drugs from Schedule II. Oklahoma APRNs are qualified through education and training to prescribe a full range of medical drugs that includes Schedule II. The inability of APRNs to prescribe Schedule II drugs creates an unnecessary burden on Oklahoma patients and impedes the care for patients with chronic or acute pain, behavioral disorders and more. This will provide greatly needed access to care for patients across Oklahoma.
    • Insurance Credentialing: In order to provide affordable and accessible health care to consumers and compete in the health care marketplace, it is vital that APRNs be allowed insurance credentialing, permitting them to bill insurance companies directly rather than billing through a facility or physician’s office.
  • Public Health – Improving Oklahoma’s Health Status

    • Improving Oklahoma’s health status will improve the physical, emotional, behavioral and economic well being of the individual, the family, and the community.
  • Education

    • Support only those educational proposals that do not put the emotional, behavioral and physical well being of school children at risk.
    • Nursing education is an important and critical component in the development, maintenance and competence of Oklahoma’s nursing workforce.