KSNA 2022 Legislative Platform

As the largest group of health care professionals in any health care unit, nurses have a vital interest in enlightened legislation.  The Kansas State Nurses Association provides leadership for the nursing profession and promotes quality health care for consumers through education, advocacy, and influencing of healthcare policy.

Access to Quality Healthcare

Goal: Promote access to quality healthcare services for all Kansans; the role of nurses as qualified providers of healthcare services including prescriptive services; and access to all nursing care services with emphasis on adequacy and appropriateness of nurse staffing as provided in the American Nurses Associations’ Staffing Principles.

KSNA supports:

  • Utilization of nursing-sensitive quality indicators for improved healthcare outcomes
  • Quality, affordable, accessible, and equitable healthcare, including mental health services
  • Direct access by consumers to services of nurses
  • Safe, quality, healthcare for vulnerable populations, including victims of domestic violence, pregnant women, children, individual with HIV/AIDS, the elderly, and the disabled
  • Fair treatment of all people regardless of race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual-orientation, gender preferences, country of origin, disability, cultural, political, religious, or other group affiliations
  • Substance abuse education and treatment
  • Evidence-based health education for all
  • Primary healthcare provided by advanced practice nurses
  • Maternity, neonatal, and well-women care provided by Certified Nurse Midwives (advanced practice nurses certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives)

KSNA opposes:

  • The introduction by other professions of healthcare personnel who perform nursing functions
  • Limiting access to quality of healthcare to any Kansans
  • The use of “nurse” by non-licensed nursing healthcare professionals or healthcare employees.

Ethics and Human Rights

Goal: Promote individuals having the right to make decisions that affect themselves and their significant others. Assure the basic rights of all people to equality and dignity under the law regardless of age, color, creed, disability, gender, health status, health practices and behaviors, nationality, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

KSNA supports:

  • Consumer participation in healthcare decision making
  • Healthcare surrogate and durable power of attorney for healthcare decisions when an individual is incapacitated
  • A person’s right to dignity in all stages of the healthcare continuum across their lifespan
  • The rights of victims in cases of abuse and provisions of needed care for those individuals
  • Adequate palliative and hospice care for persons with terminal illnesses and appropriate pain management for all persons
  • Harmony with ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses

KSNA opposes:

  • Disparity based on age, color, creed, disability, gender, health status, health practices and behaviors, nationality, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

Healthcare Financing

Goal: Promote federal, state, and local governments work to provide a stable source of funding to meet the public’s healthcare needs, including direct remuneration for services provided by nurses.

KSNA supports:

  • Funding to provide healthcare, mental health services, food, and shelter to persons in need
  • Funding for state health plans, public health, and public health nursing services
  • A healthcare system that provides quality care, quality of life, and patient safety
  • The use of evidence-based cost containment incentives to provide and affordable healthcare delivery systems for all citizens
  • Recognition of nursing’s unique role in the delivery of comprehensive and cost-effective quality care
  • Federally mandated reimbursement for advanced practice nurses
  • An affordable healthcare system that is monitored to ensure that quality of care, quality of life and patient safety are not compromised
  • Administrative reforms to reduce healthcare cost
  • A public health system that remains prepared for disasters, pandemics and other statewide emergencies by being appropriately funded, staffed, and educated
  • Leadership in developing solutions to the shortage of nurses
  • Leadership in developing solutions to the shortage of qualified nurse faculty
  • Use of evidence-based cost-containment incentives in the healthcare delivery system that do not compromise quality of care, that applies to all providers, payers, and vendors; are based on continued review of the appropriateness of healthcare services; serve to eliminate significant waste and inefficiency

KSNA opposes:

  • Healthcare coverage that would limit access based on the ability to pay
  • Reimbursement models for nurses’ services that are not fair and equitable
  • Duplication of healthcare services in geographic areas that are adequately served

Nursing Education, Practice and Licensure

Goal: Promote the delivery of quality nursing by appropriately educated and licensed nurses in order to protect the patient and the integrity of the nursing profession.

KSNA supports:

  • Recognition of the Kansas Board of Nursing (KSBN) as the sole regulatory authority for nursing practice and the provision of adequate funding for the agency
  • Representation by KSNA, or their designees, on all interdisciplinary bodies concerned with assessment, planning, implementing, and evaluating healthcare services
  • Ensuring the composition of the KSBN includes members whose professional qualifications relate to the functional responsibility of the state regulatory agency for nursing practice and nursing education.
  • Promoting nurse’s ability to practice to the full extent of their education and training
  • Efforts aimed at addressing an adequate supply of nursing work force include expanding state funding to educate more nurses at all levels of nursing and encourage recruitment and retention in nursing by employers
  • Funding for research to maximize nursing’s contribution to health, nursing education programs, nursing faculty salaries, and advanced education for nurses
  • Programing efforts that encompass education, prevention, and treatment/interventions related to the opioid crises
  • Public awareness of the importance of accreditation of schools of nursing by a national nursing accrediting body
  • Preservation and protection of the practice of nursing in all practice settings
  • Protection of nurse’s rights to practice to the full scope of their education and training
  • Full practice authority for advanced practice nurses
  • Safe staffing to ensure safe and quality patient care
  • Lifelong learning for all nurses
  • The interstate Nurse Licensure Compact and Advanced Practice Licensure Compact
  • Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression
  • Nurses should be full partners in redesigning healthcare in the United States and Kansas

KSNA opposes:

  • The substitution of nurses with lesser qualified patient care professionals
  • Recruitment of foreign-educated nurses in the absence of meaningful workplace reform

Workplace Advocacy

Goal: Promote and protect the economic and employment rights of nurses.

KSNA supports:

  • Nursing staffing standards that ensure quality patient care
  • No-fault error reporting
  • Protection from retribution for nurses reporting unsafe or unethical patient and work conditions
  • Adequate rest and number of hours between shifts to prevent medical errors
  • Strategies to reduce medical errors
  • Mandate speech or silence in the nurse-patient relationship

KSNA opposes:

  • The use of mandatory overtime
  • The use of ratios to determine safe staffing polices

Occupational, Environmental, and Public Health Hazards

Goal: Promote the development and enforcement of standards that protect the environment, public health, and the workplaces.

KSNA supports:

  • Legislation and regulation that promotes workplace safety and promotes occupational and environmental health
  • Resources to increase the capacity of nurses to prepare and respond to diesters
  • Research and education for the prevention and treatment of occupational and environmental health issues, through evidence-based health policy initiatives
  • Efforts to provide a safe, non-threatening collegial work environment by instituting policy preventing bullying behaviors
  • Assurance of safe water, air, and food supply
  • A unified effort against smoking and substance abuse
  • Protection of public and healthcare providers from environmental and occupational health hazards, including environmental and medical waste
  • Personal polices that address all aspects of pathogen exposure in the workplace according to OSHA standards and reflect the most current scientific and epidemiological knowledge, while incorporating sound principles of supervision and management
  • Promotion of health and safety programs in the workplace including ergonomics, safe patient handling, infection control, and prevention of workplace violence and work-related accidents
  • Appropriate access to substance abuse treatment for impaired nurses

KSNA opposes:

  • Unsafe working conditions for nurses and patients

Consumer Advocacy

Goal: Promote advocacy to ensure all citizens of Kansas have equal access to qualified healthcare service.

KSNA supports:

  • Policies that ensure equal access to all healthcare services and nursing care across the lifespan
  • Evidence-based practice of care
  • Establishing, implementing, and maintaining safeguards for the rights of all Kansans, especially children, seniors, disabled, and the economically and socially disadvantaged
  • Efforts aimed at physical and mental health promotion, early intervention, treatment, referral, and collaboration
  • The ability of individuals to select an appropriate healthcare provider of their choice
  • Initiatives to eliminate substance abuse, including tobacco, alcohol, legal and illegal drugs

KSNA opposes:

Policies that do not ensure equal access to all healthcare services and nursing care across the lifespan

It is the continued mission of KSNA to promote professional nursing, to provide a unified voice for nursing in Kansas and to advocate for the health and well-being of all people.