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November-December 2012 Newsletter

Posted over 7 years ago by Regina Pommer

Good Morning!

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: 

  • Decade of Dedication
  • Happy Holidays
  • FNPN Elections
  • Shining Stars
  • FNPN PAC Update
  • Job Announcement
  • Membership update
  • Message from AANP
  • Education Update
  • Around the State and Around the Nation
  • News You Can Use

Quote of the Month
“We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”
― Ronald Reagan

Decade of Dedication

It is once again the time of year where we stop and reflect on the year gone by. At FNPN, we also recognize that as 2012 comes to a close we are ending our first decade. It is hard to believe that 10 years have passed since a small group of NPs got inspired at the annual American Academy of Nurse Practitioners convention and determined that Florida needed a statewide group that would represent NPs. Over the past decade FNPN has grown to be recognized as the leader of NPs in the state and we actively advocate for NPs in the health policy and legislative arena.

FNPN works with other organizations as well. At the state level, we are a core member of the Florida Coalition of Advanced Practice Nurses (FLCAPN), which includes our APN colleague’s organizations (Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Florida Council of Nurse Midwives and Florida Nurses Association and Clinical Nurse Specialists). As group members of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners we are able to network on a much larger level with other state NP groups. We sit down and discuss our problems, our concerns, our successes and ideas and in doing so are able to effect real change not only on a state level, but a national and sometimes international level as well. FNPN dialogues with other nurse practitioner, nursing and medical organizations as well as consumer and industrial groups in our common goal to better the health care in Florida.

Many serious issues still must be confronted by NPs in the future. Some of these arise from legislation not yet passed; some will be the result of changes such as tele-health and multistate licensure, which may be expected as the millennium unfolds. Several of these obstacles to full implementation of the NP role are inter-related. FNPN is dedicated to the NPs of Florida and will continue to work to achieve the ability for you to practice to the full scope of your education and skills.

Happy Holidays

We are truly grateful for our members and community advocates. As the holidays approach, we would like to thank you for your time, donations, and community support that positively impact the Florida Nurse Practitioner Network each and every day.

FNPN Elections

As FNPN enters its tenth year of advocacy and leadership in representing the Nurse Practitioners of Florida, we are pleased to announce our leadership team.

The FNPN election results have been certified by the nominations/election committee and we congratulate the new officers.

They are as follows:
  • Doreen  Cassarino - President
  • Jean  Aertker-Second Vice President, Education and Conferences
  • Denise  Elswick- Treasurer

Thank you to all of our members who voted this fall and FNPN sincerely appreciates the willingness of those who choose to run for our office, as well as our appreciation of the hard work of our nominations committee.

Shining Stars

The Southern Gulf Coast Nurse Practitioner Council representing Nurse Practitioners in Lee County recently made a cash donation of over $800 to the Harry Chapin Food Bank from proceeds obtained from a recent educational conference. Each year the conference holds a silent auction to raise money for local charities. The group’s mission is to actively participate in community affairs. Congratulations to a job well done!

The Nurse Practitioner Council of Palm Beach County also had a successful fundraiser at their annual conference. $800 worth of food cards was distributed at thanksgiving to families in need, and another $900 to be distributed at Christmas. According to Bonnie Marting, this is one way we can give back to the community in our area. Congratulations to a job well done.

Congratulations to member Donna Lester of Lakeland for her recent publication educating consumers about NP's!   The article published in Woman to Woman Magazine Fall 2012 on "The Nurse Practitioner, Your Partner in Health. It was put in for NP Week. View online at   We need more of this so let’s start filling the pages!


Laureen M. Fleck, PhD,FNP-BC,CDE, Chairperson - Political Action Committee

As voters, we are in a position to support the candidate of our choice by promoting their campaign not only on Election Day but by participation and promotion of the candidate's campaign promises.

Advanced practice nurses in Florida have not been able to practice to the full extent of our scope of practice and education because of political restrictions imposed on us in the House and Senate.

Our PAC committee will be traveling throughout the state to raise money and participate in fund raising efforts to build OUR VOICE in the Florida political arena. We will also support the candidates that support our issues by monetary contributions to their campaigns.

We need your help! Money is Power!! A brilliant legislative session is expected and we are closer than ever to reach our goals. We have a lobbyist working with us. We are well informed and networked in Tallahassee. She keeps the constant flow of information current. We cannot achieve our goals with this disruption of policy and politics! Without you, your patients, family and community support we are invisible. Become a member of the FNPN PAC Committee.

Consider your commitment to our profession. We are ARNPs in private practice, hospital settings, colleges, universities and clinics throughout the state! We are YOU !

If each person in our membership donated $10 and asked 5 more people to donate $10 we would be on our way to political success! We have a membership of 4,300 ARNPs in Florida. We are solid, we are YOU!

To make a contribution please click here

Job Announcements!

There have been many new job postings around the state on our web site at  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

Armando Riera-Membership Chair

  • Renewal Reminder-Membership in FNPN runs on an annual basis Jan-Dec.
  • Please renew your membership today.
  • Membership in FNPN can be as a group or individual member.

Individual members:
belong and receive many benefits as part of their membership-frequent communication during the legislative session (or special sessions), a paid lobbyist based in Tallahassee, access to posted job opportunities, access to posted upcoming conferences and many more benefits. If you belong to your local NP group you are not an FNPN member until you join FNPN individually, group and individual membership are two separate levels of membership. I encourage you to visit our newly redesigned web page today and while you're there you can renew online.

Group Presidents:
please renew today and continue to be an integral part of our growing organization. We value our group members as this creates a vital network of NP groups throughout the state. These groups help disseminate information about trends, issues and changes impacting NP's at the state and national level. As a group member we will also assist with conference planning and obtaining approval for CEU's if offered. We will also assist with promoting your conferences and activities and can provide assistance or link you with support in web design.

FNPN now has several options for membership:
  • $70.00 - New Member /Renewing
  • $120.00 - 2 Year Membership Special
  • $45.00 - Student / Retired Member
  • $80.00 - 2 year Membership Student/Retired
  • $120.00 - NP Group Member
  • $120.00 - Organization Member
  • Student Group Membership "First Year Free!"

To pay by check click here

To pay by credit card click here

Message From AANP

The AANP Nominations Committee has announced the Call for Nominations for the 2013 American Association of Nurse Practitioners election.  Click here for complete nomination information including eligibility, position descriptions and the election process.

Education Updates: The following important educational opportunities have been posted for January and February; be sure to check back on our website at for additional updates and additions!

May 18th 2013 Save the Date FNPN Annual Conference


Feb 04 Health Care Reform
Monday, February 04 2013 at 8:00am CT in Tallahassee, FL

Around the State and Around the Nation

Florida Advanced Practice Nurses Coalition Welcomes New Co-Chair Bonnie Sklaren, ARNP.  Bonnie is a longtime activist and advocate of ARNPs representing FNA in this leadership position. A big thanks to Dr. Chris Salso for his years of service and dedication as co-chair. Bonnie joins Gwenn Randall, CRNA (FANA) who continues as co-chair.

The Coalition is the United Voice of all Nurse Practitioners in Florida representing the four main Advanced Practice Nursing Membership Organizations: FNPN, FNA, CRNA's and CNM's. While each group has its own special needs and interests, the Coalition works to unify the needs and interest of all Advanced Practice issues. Together we can accomplish much more!

The Coalition meets quarterly and all who hold interest in the future of NP practice in Florida are welcome to attend. If you need more information or wish to sign on to the listserve, do visit their website for meeting information, new articles and contacts to assist you.

Nurse Practitioner Groups Unite to Push for Change

Marcia Frelick Medscape 12/5/12 

When the 2 most prominent groups representing nurse practitioners (NPs) merge January 1, they will combine resources, talents, and legislative might just as the future of healthcare is taking shape.

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American College of Nurse Practitioners announced on November 19 that they will pool their memberships, totaling 41,000 NPs. Having a single group, which will be called the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), will eliminate confusion for NPs about which organization to join and unify the voice of an increasingly prominent segment of healthcare providers.

Behind the merger are some looming realities that call for NPs to present a united front. First, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) means about 30 million more patients are expected to enter the healthcare system through 2019 as insurance coverage is required of nearly all Americans. At the same time, a shortage of primary care physicians is expected to surpass 52,000 by 2025, according to a recent study published in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

The looming gap has system reformers looking to stretch resources with NPs, who have masters or doctorate degrees and a scope of practice that is similar — and complementary — to that of primary care physicians. They assess, diagnose, interpret test results, and treat acute and chronic conditions.

NPs are ready to step in to fill that gap, but until now, that message has been diluted, says David Hebert, who has been chief executive officer of the American College of Nurse Practitioners and now becomes chief executive officer of the new AANP.

"I think it's a great opportunity to combine resources as well as strategy so that nurse practitioners can have a strong voice, whether it's in Washington or the state capitals," Hebert told Medscape Medical News.

Scope Varies by State

NPs have been working toward consistent national guidelines for scope of practice, which currently varies by state. Some states require physician involvement in care plans, some allow independent practice, some will not let NPs prescribe independently or sign death certificates, and some allow NPs to prescribe only certain classes of drugs independently.

Another target of legislative change for NPs is the ability to order home healthcare for patients. At this time, to get reimbursed by Medicare, NPs can order home care only through physicians. That wastes time and resources, Hebert said.

"We think we can save money by getting people out of the hospitals and nursing homes earlier. Home health is less expensive, and if it's the right thing for the patient, then the nurse practitioner certainly ought to be able to order home health for patients," Hebert said.

NPs are pushing to practice to their full scope in every state, an argument that has pitted them against physician groups who say NPs don't have the same education and experience as physicians and should not be considered the answer to the physician shortage.

In response to the announcement of the merger, Reid Blackwelder, MD, president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), said in an email: "We wish these 2 groups well in their reorganization. We look forward to working with them and other health care professional organizations to improve the quality of care for all patients."

However, he reiterated the AAFP's position that patients are better served with physician-led healthcare teams and that NPs should not deliver healthcare independently: "Research consistently demonstrates that when patients have a personal relationship with a primary care physician and a physician-led health care team that focuses on meeting each individual's needs, the quality of care goes up, patients' outcomes improve, and the use — and therefore the cost — of services is reduced," he said.

Number of NPs Rising

Hebert said that although the merger will strengthen NPs' influence, the growth of the specialty has already amplified its voice.

NP numbers have climbed nearly 80% in just more than a decade, from 87,000 in 2001 to 155,000 in 2012, with 11,000 graduating from NP programs this year alone, according to Nancy McMurrey, spokesperson for AANP.

The merger capitalizes on that growing strength and comes at a very strategic time for nurses as the nation ushers in the ACA, said Jamesetta Newland, PhD, FNP-BC, and editor-in-chief of The Nurse Practitioner: The American Journal of Primary Healthcare.

"Numbers bring power. I think [the merger] also sends a message that we are united. That's one area that some of our opponents have...had an advantage.... But this sends a loud message," she said.

Under the ACA, states are working to set up health exchanges primarily for individuals without insurance and small businesses. Enrollment in those exchanges begins in the fall of 2013. Models for accountable care organizations are being tested and medical homes are evolving.

"There are almost open slates waiting for us to write on them, and if we're at the table, then we can help formulate the language and the rules," Dr. Newland said.

News You Can Use

The Florida NP Network has taken the next step to keep our members informed. Keep abreast of changes in your practice around the state and around the nation. You can join us today on Facebook under Florida Nurse Practitioner and Twitter under FloridaNP. We hope to hear from you.

Enduring Trust: Nurses again top Gallup’s Poll on Honesty and Ethics

via RWJF - Topic: Nurses & Nursing by on 12/5/12 

Americans gave nurses higher marks than any other profession in Gallup?s annual poll on honesty and ethical standards, released this week. To read more click here. 

New Changes: The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule November 1, 2012

Sent on behalf of ANA’s Governmental Affairs 

The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule, issued November 1, 2012 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), will have a major positive impact for many RNs and APRNs, especially those working in primary care, care coordination, psychiatric/mental health, and anesthesia services. 

Overall, this rule includes new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and payments for transitional care management and psychiatric services. It also clarifies that CRNAs can provide chronic pain management – and other -- services consistent with state scope of practice rules. To read more click here

CMS publishes preliminary Rules of Importance to Nurse Practitioners

CMS issued preliminary final Medicare rules that we have been following and responding to through communication with CMS and public comment. They include issues related to ordering portable X-Rays, primary care Medicaid payments, transitional care, care coordination, DME, Telemedicine preventive services, telemedicine, PQRS and other relevant CMS authorized activities and payments. As we evaluate the new rules we will keep you posted regarding our analysis. To read more click here