Florida Nurse Practitioner Network
Empowering Florida Nurse Practitioners as Leaders in Healthcare (Est 2002)

May 2010 FNPN News Bullets

Posted over 9 years ago by Regina Pommer

Good Morning!

As we begin May 2010, we would like to bring you up to date on what’s new in your own backyard of Florida. In this newsletter you will find the following:


  • Message from the FNPN Board of Directors
  • Education Updates and upcoming CE events
  • Legislative Update!
  • Membership Update
  • Job Announcement
  • From Your AANP Representative
  • FNPN PAC Update
  • Around the State and Around the Nation
  • News You Can Use
  • Kudos Corner


Quote of the Month:

“Those who say it cannot be done, should not get in the way of those who are doing it." William Wallace


Message from the FNPN Board of Directors

The past several weeks have brought waves of hope followed by disappointment in our legislative system. While many had hoped the rally would boost efforts to have our controlled substance bill heard, it sadly fell short of its mission. What was successful was the public awareness that was necessary to begin the grassroots effort for change and must continue to be nurtured day after day. Campaigns and functions to spur support of our cause remains suboptimal compared to so many legislators funded by the Florida Medical Association campaign dollars. While I am saddened to think that politics continues to recognize campaign dollars over patient care, it continues to pervade our state.

Because of this injustice, I challenge each and every one of you to take a close look at your local politicians. Demand to know their stand on health care issues, the support for controlled substances, and begin to work diligently to help vote those negative influences OUT OF OFFICE!!! The numbers of ARNPs is huge in this state (more than 10,000) and our RN colleagues even greater (more than 250,000). If we do not use our strength in voting to begin to make the change these next several years, then our politicians will continue to ignore our requests, mock our efforts and even blatantly challenge our education.

Are you not as frustrated as us? If you are, it is time to rally not just in Tallahassee every year, but time to share that frustration with your local group through support of legislative efforts, supporting the political action committee at FNPN through donations and getting involved as a member at the state level. The old expression of “put your money where your mouth is” rings true to every physician who generously donates to the FMA that allows them to financially ensure their continued success. We CANNOT allow politicians to be bought and sold like puppets, even though they may not have the morale stamina to resist.

VOTE those out of office that openly oppose us, make it your mission to aid the campaigns of those who support our cause; and by all means, do not choose apathy over opportunity. Finally, pledge to become that “Change Agent” that Loretta Ford, our Co-Founder of the Nurse Practitioner movement sees us as; the new leaders in the future of health care! Join FNPN today, and become the difference for tomorrow.

Education Updates:
****************SAVE THE DATE****************
July 16th and 17th, 2010
FNPN 7th Annual Conference

The following important educational opportunities have been posted for May and June; be sure to check back on our website at www.fnpn.org for additional updates and additions!

May 14


Jun 05


Jun 05


Jun 10


Jun 23


Jul 16


Legislative Updates:

Submitted by Jean Aertker

Legislative Session Summary 2010: Friend to neither man, nor beast.

Sadly, On Friday, April 30, the 2010 regular session of the Florida Legislature closed. The major work completed was to pass the $70.4 billion budget, but who knows what the Governor will do as he has veto power over this. One lone Republican voted against the budget, Sen. Paula Dockerty ( R ) Lakeland, who by the way is running for Governor. If the Governor vetoes this whole budget, the elected will be back for a special session - and more of your tax dollars will be expended as they try to get the job done that we expect in a bipartisan spirit.

While our prescribing bill directed most of our attention, we learned a great deal by having a very successful Rally in Tally. We were very visible and we gathered more supporters as many simply do not know this is an issue for us and our patients. We have been carrying this burden way too long and its time we generate a consumer plan that will get voice heard. One long time staff person in Tally said, “Good job NPs, but you have to develop the issue and get consumers to help you beat this ridiculous turf war.” We saw how the teachers lobby was effective to stop SB6 too gaining the Governor’s veto.

A couple of Constitutional amendments made it through legislature and will be on the state ballot on November 2nd including a redistricting proposal and the Florida health care amendment question barring Floridians from being forced to obtain insurance coverage required by the new federal health care overhaul. Read up on that and be ready for that on the ballot.


Bills on health issues that did pass the Legislature:
  • A controversial abortion bill requiring an ultrasound before any procedure. The House voted 72-46 to accept the abortion amendment to a health care proposal and approved the bill itself voting 76-44.

  • Mandating pain management clinics to register with the state requiring only doctors with “special training” to dispense controlled substances. Requires pain clinics to be either licensed by the state, or owned by a doctor or group of doctors. The reforms will also expand the use of a prescription-monitoring program scheduled to be in place by the end of the year. The program, approved by lawmakers in 2009, will create a database to track narcotics prescriptions and prevent patients from getting pills from multiple doctors, a practice known as ``doctor shopping.'' The bill also bans clinics from promoting narcotics in any ads. and from dispensing more than a 72-hour supply of narcotics to patients who pay by cash, check or credit card without insurance, and requires increased training for pain-management doctors by 2012. The 72-hour limit is among the strictest in the country. (In New Jersey prescribers w/ DEA license may not dispense more than a seven-day supply of medication, and a few other states do not allow prescribers to dispense drugs from pain clinics.

  • Requires retailers to track over-the-counter sales of ephedrine, which can be used to make methamphetamine.

  • Stricter screening of caregivers who work with vulnerable Floridians - children, the elderly and the disabled to weed out convicted criminals.

  • Ban on the sale of smoking pipes, bongs and other paraphernalia commonly used for smoking illegal drugs as well as tobacco except at stores that mostly sell tobacco products. (Unfortunately, a bill proposed by Hillsborough teens saw interest, but was not placed on the agenda that would prohibit smoking in an auto with children under the age of 16 riding in the auto)

  • Prohibiting lawmakers from raiding a trust fund for the state's concealed weapons permitting program. (Guess they can still raid the MQA trust fund!)

  • Sovereign immunity caps for claims against the state went from $100,000 to $200,000 for an individual, the first increase in 30 years

  • Authorized the use of cameras to ticket red light runners - hopefully this stop more auto accidents - but time will tell how effective this is and all who get captured on red light camera face a fine of $158 (now how was that fee computed!?!)


Bills that were shelved, never saw the sunshine or not passed:
  • Controlled Substance Prescribing by ARNPs- SB 188/ HB 677 by Senator Mike Bennett and Representative Juan Carlos Zapata. (Send them a thank you too!) The bill was denied placement on the agenda of the committees to which it had been referred. Let’s remember that at election time! Florida and Alabama are the only 2 states that do not allow ARNPs to prescribe controlled substances.

  • Mandated staffing ratio bill- HB 1283/SB 2316 by Representative Oscar Braynon and Senator Anthony Hill requiring mandated staffing ratios, reporting, and fines for non-compliance. Referred to 3 committees, made it thru one reading.

  • Safe Staffing- SB 114/ HB 377 by Senator David Arronberg and Representative Ron Brisé requiring acute care centers to have collaborative councils with participation of direct patient care RNs. Referred to 3 committees, made it thru one reading.

  • A ban proposed to stop text messaging while driving.

  • Changes in where offshore oil drilling would be allowed (sadly this issue is now)

In closing, what do you think was the most significant or best bill or law that came out of the 2010 State legislative session? Come on now, there must be one!


Job Announcements!

There have been many new job postings around the state on our web site at www.fnpn.org for those of you that may have an interest. On our new website, the most recent postings are on the front page. A new feature will allow postings to be visible for 90 days. Please feel free to pass this along to your colleagues who may be interested in it as well, or who may have an interest in finding out more about our network. For those of you that have found jobs on our website, please be sure to let us know!

Do you know an employer who might find the FNPN Job posting a worthwhile site? If so, please be sure to tell them about the website and the fact that on average 20 or more jobs are posted each month. The traffic to our website is incredible and we have more and more folks seeking employment through this site than ever before. Let them know you saw it on the FNPN Website!


Membership Update

Membership ChairArmando Riera

We appreciate all those who have been loyal members since our beginning and invite our guests who have received this monthly newsletter to join as well. The Florida Nurse Practitioner Network is a volunteer organization, and one that relies on YOU to help keep our efforts moving forward. Since FNPN began, we have hired a lobbyist, updated our website to keep you informed of all that matters to your practice, provided a toll free number to call should you be unable to find answers on our website, and worked diligently to partner with our group members around the state to deliver the best quality education possible.

Remember, to be an advocate for your job, you must be an advocate for your profession through membership, volunteering and being available to be part of the solution. Input from active members is how we are able to identify issues that affect practice and need attention. Our cooperative efforts with other Advanced Practice organizations both locally and at the national levels have helped ensure that we may continue to move forward as ONE VOICE! If you have any questions about being current, please contact us.

Just a reminder, students have special rate dues, and we encourage you and your peers to join!


From your AANP Representative

Doreen Cassarino MSN, ARNP, FNP-BC, BC-ADM

Hello colleagues!

I would like to express my sincere thanks to you for being re-elected as your representative to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Please let me know of anything that I can do to be of help and service to you as your state representative.

As you are likely aware nurse practitioners have been receiving a lot of press recently. Please watch the videos posted below!

Also, don’t forget to register for the upcoming Annual AANP conference in June. Hope to see you there! It looks like it is going to be a terrific conference!




PAC ChairMarifrances Gullo

Nurses may soon become the new doctors: Donate to your PAC NOW!!!

The following article is from the Orlando Sentinel: Look for an article in the Daytona News Journal in the next week or so. We need to continue flooding the media with our issues and concerns. We need the support of the constituencies of the legislators who have chosen to filibuster this process. Contact your local newspapers, radio station etc. Get the word out and PLEASE donate to your Political Action Committee. If you would like to make a donation, please go to www.fnpn.org and start helping now. We are fighting for all of you to eliminate the restraint on our trade, give us the respect we deserve and to allow our patients equal access to care!

April 28, 2010 in the Orlando Sentinel by Marisa Ramiccio UCF Journalism Student

No one really likes going to the doctor's office. But how about going to the nurse's office?

Twenty-eight states, including Florida, are pushing to expand the authority and responsibility that nurse practitioners have, due to the nation-wide shortage of doctors.

In Florida and Alabama it is illegal for nurses to prescribe controlled substances to patients; the other 48 states have made it legal. Legislation to lift this ban has been filed in Florida for the past 16 years, but the bill has stalled in committee.

"We see it as an access to care issue," said Willa Fuller, the executive director for the Florida Nurses Association. "[Passing this legislation] would alleviate the delay in receiving these medications, many of which are not narcotics, but other meds such as anti-depressants and even laxatives."

In many states, nurses with advanced degrees are also pushing to remove supervision requirements. According to the Associated Press, some states put doctors in charge of nurses or require doctors to sign collaborative agreements with nurses.

In Florida, these supervision requirements are not as strict as those states. Nurses are simply required to file protocol with the Department of Professional Regulation.

"Research has demonstrated that advanced practice nurses can provide this care and do not necessarily need this supervisory proviso to deliver quality, safe and effective health care," said Elizabeth Rash, associate professor in UCF's College of Nursing.

The government somewhat agrees. Because of the recent health care overhaul, many nurse-managed clinics are receiving more funding, much to the dismay of the American Medical Association.

The AMA is actively pursuing ways to block nurses from infringing on their turf. AMA president-elect Dr. Cecil Wilson told the AP that "a shortage of one type of professional is not a reason to change the standards of medical care."

The AMA claims that nurses are neither qualified nor prepared to practice independently, but Fuller said that there is no evidence of this.

Debbie Chandler, a doctoral student in UCF's College of Nursing whose thesis is on the expansion of nurses' practice, said that nurse managed clinics are more cost effective because they keep patients out of hospitals and have a lower reimbursement rate than physicians.

According to Fuller, many physicians feel threatened by nurses sharing the same responsibilities. Some patients could even view nurses as a better alternative to the health care they are receiving. Patients wonder: Is the care provided by a nurse better than that of a doctor?

"The care is not necessarily better, but different," Rash said. "Nurses bring a holistic nursing perspective to health care. This perspective takes into account the psychological, social, family, occupational, and lifestyle behavioral needs of a patient, along with their bio-physical needs."

The AMA is also taking issue with nurses who want to call themselves "doctor." The association believes that patients will be confused by the title. But the number of nurses who have doctorate degrees is on the rise and is expected to be the standard by 2015. Nurses who hold advanced degrees believe that they have the right to be addressed as "doctor."

"Nurses have been earning academic doctorate degrees for many years and with this comes the right to self-identify as such," Rash said. "Similarly, psychologists and pharmacists with doctorates can identify themselves as doctors of their profession."

So how will this new battle over health care affect practitioners and students?

"What could happen is that APN's [advance practice nurses] choose to leave Florida as some already have, or some others choose not to move here because of the restrictive and sometimes hostile practice environment," Fuller said. She explained that hostility arises because physicians trust nurses to take care of their patients, but they never express this publicly.

Rash has a different outlook. "I think it will bring in students who want to pursue excellence and professionalism in the care they provide patients," she said.

But Chandler thinks that the power to change the authority of nurses rests in Florida's hands.

"In truth, nurse practitioners roles will only expand when the legislatures allow them to," Chandler said. "There are many areas that Nurse Practitioners in particular could help Florida, if the legislature would expand the privileges and scope."

Marisa Ramiccio is a UCF journalism student. Thank you Marisa, Willa and Elizabeth for your efforts to get the word out!


Around the State and Around the Nation

A Media Trifecta for NPs

Nurse Practitioners hit a real media trifecta, with three national broadcast appearances in nine days in April. Health care reform is still at the top of the national agenda and having three NPs on national broadcasts should help build awareness of the advantages of having an NP as the primary, acute or specialty health care provider of choice for people of all ages across the country.

Dr. Susan Apold - Expanding the role of Nurses

Click here to view the April 25 segment on Fox & Friends.


Scott Johnson - CNN

Click here to view the April 16 segment on CNN.


Dee Swanson - AANP - The Nurse will see you now

Click here to view Dee Swanson’s April 22 segment on Fox & Friends.


MiMi Secor, NP co-hosts “Partners in Practice” Listen in to her program!

A new NP radio program is hitting the waves! Many of our members know MiMi Secor, MS, MEd, FNP-C, FAANP from Massachusetts as a past key note speaker at our annual conference and who has presented many GYN lectures and CE programs throughout the country. Her new venture is co-hosting a radio program called "Partners in Practice" - a new series on ReachMD. ReachMD, the voice of healthcare professionals has announced their newest original programming series titled: Partners in Practice. Listen to her interview with NP pioneer Dr. Elayne DeSimone from New York.

Take a listen! http://www.reachmd.com/xmsegment.aspx?sid=5471

Mimi Secor is President Emeriti, Senior Advisor of Nurse Practitioner Associates for Continuing Education (NPACE) located in Natick, Massachusetts. She played a key role in obtaining prescription writing and third party reimbursement legislation in Massachusetts, founded The Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and established one of the first independent practices in New England.

Her decades of experience educating the general public through nationwide media activities have contributed significantly to enhancing the image of the profession. Devoted to her profession, the dynamic Ms. Secor is recognized internationally and sought after as an expert NP leader, health policy advocate, educator and clinician. Nice going Mimi, keep us tuned in!


News You Can Use

A message from the Florida CHAIN:

Together, we helped stop HMOs from taking over Medicaid!

It was a close call! It was just two days before Florida’s legislative session ended when we learned we were successful in halting efforts to halt the expansion of Medicaid managed care. It had not been an easy feat. Healthcare advocates were heavily outnumbered by industry lobbyists. But it didn’t matter. We still succeeded. And we couldn’t have done it without your help.

The fight is not over though. The HMOs and industry players will be back at it again. And we need to be there to continue to be the voice of those who are most vulnerable and need to access health care.

Please consider making a DONATION today to support the work of Florida CHAIN. Below are only a few highlights of our work on Medicaid Reform. Florida CHAIN is also working on national health care reform implementation, children’s health, medical debt, and more. You can see how your donation goes a long way toward increasing access to affordable, quality health care for all Floridians!


DONATE to help us provide the media with a consumer perspective:

DONATE to help us empower consumers to speak out:

  • We trained consumers in the Medicaid Reform program to speak at district legislative hearings.

  • We sent Medicaid Reform consumers to Tallahassee to share their experiences with lawmakers.

DONATE to help us collect and disseminate stories of Medicaid Reform consumers:

  • We highlighted stories of Medicaid consumers that were used by legislators in illustrating experiences.

DONATE  to help us educate legislators and the public:

  • We presented, and even debated, at several town hall meetings and before legislative committee hearings.

  • We published policy briefs, legislator briefings, and partner materials on Medicaid Reform.

  • We met with lawmakers, evaluators, and Governor’s staff.

DONATE to help us provide advocacy opportunities:

  • Last month, we developed and circulated a petition opposing the expansion of Medicaid Reform

  • Through our emails, we sent out talking points and legislative contact information generating calls and emails with the message of halting the expansion of risky Medicaid Reform.

  • We regularly update and coordinate activities with our partners to present a unified message.

On behalf of the millions of Floridians who are still without access to quality health care when they need it, thank you for stepping forward to make a difference.


AHEC Funding

The chairs of the Senate & House full appropriations committees (Senator J.D. Alexander and Rep. David Rivera) now have the final say on AHEC funding. Calls directly to Rep. Rivera's office may not be answered apparently the voicemail box is full. Likewise, his House email box appears inaccessible. We need to involve our local representatives to give him the message to fund AHEC (which they will do if they hear from YOU). Please use your own time/cell or telephones/personal email accounts and contact your local representative. http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/default.aspx, enter your home address. Ask him/her to tell Rep. Rivera to "preserve the AHEC funding by accepting the Senate position."


Here it is........View Bay News 9 video done April 22 with Clearwater NP Amy Freidman. Dr Cindy Parsons also did an interview on Monday April 26, and we will send the link to that as soon as it is available. Bay News 9 Video


Free 411.........A New Google service! Just leave it to Google to come up with something like this! Here's a number worth putting in your cell phone, or your home phone speed dial: 1-800-goog-411 . This is an awesome service from Google ... And it's free -- great when you are on the road. Don't waste your money on information calls and don't waste your time manually dialing the number.


Truth or Not.........For those of us who could use a little laugh…….. Political Statements


Kudos Corner

Submitted by Jean Aertker

In the small town of Brunnel, FL, Nurse practitioner Faith Coleman had six children and no health insurance when she was diagnosed with kidney cancer. She mortgaged the house to pay for treatment, went into remission and was inspired to help others who lack health care coverage. So she did what she had to do...she started a free clinic in 2005 Free Clinic in Flagler County to care for others who found themselves in need also. It’s been a work of love since. As a cancer survivor Faith Coleman worked and organized other volunteers to offer help to the uninsured to access health care. Since starting, her group has provided free medical care to roughly 6,700 patients.

In August, 2009 you may recall she was honored with the CNN Hero's nomination.


so this one lone NP has made national news and doing us proud! (Ok, Faith will tell u she did not do this alone that many faithful and loyal supporters made this happen). Faith Coleman premiered on CNN this August 21st. Larry King interviewed her too and wow what a story! Florida Health News picked up the story as did AANP and Advance for NPs. In March 2010, Dan Rather Reports came to the clinic to get a first hand look too...his crew came to the Free Clinic and filmed all week-end. His show featured the clinic.

In March she traveled to Williamsburg, VA to receive the prestigious Dr. Benjamin Rush Award, a tribute to a special person. We are very proud of our FNPN member. Great job Faith!

See a video here: