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Contact your state legislators or nursing care may change

The Chicago Chapter National Black Nurses Association is urging the state legislators to take critical action to extend the Nurse Practice Act – but the language must be clear and concise to protect the public.

That act currently requires that appropriately educated, licensed nurses administer nursing care, and that must continue in regulation said Pam Robbins, MSN, RN, Health Policy committee member.

On Friday, the group met with Rep. Robyn Gabel, co-sponsor of House Bill (HB) 313 and Senate Bill (SB) 625 the Nurse Practice Act Sunset.

“The meeting with Representative Gabel was very productive,” said Dr. Mildred Taylor, Health Policy committee member. Gabel shared understanding the importance of needing “licensed qualified nurses to deliver the complex nursing care for all patients.” Gabel said she now “has a family member in long term care.”

At issue is the fact that the HB 313/SB 625 as proposed would force the registered nurse to delegate “nursing” work that now requires nursing education and licensure, to be performed by non-nurses – including medication administration in the community setting. The public needs to call their legislators that the Nurse Practice Act law must be clear; persons caring for them must be qualified, licensed and appropriately educated as a nurse if delivering nursing care,” said Robbins.

“Our purpose is to advise the co-sponsor and legislators to support current intent of the Illinois Nurse Practice Act language that only nurses can practice nursing; protecting the public when accessing healthcare services. Neither HB 313/SB 625 have passed out of either Chamber; but when one does it will move quickly and this language needs to be fixed before the public pays the price for unqualified persons lawfully being allowed to deliver nursing care in the community setting,” Robbins said.

“We request the definitions currently present in the Nurse Practice Act that clearly delineates work requiring nursing knowledge and licensure, including medication administration, to remain; this will prohibit registered nurses to delegate nursing to non-nurses in the community setting as proposed in HB 313/SB 625,” she said.

The Chicago Chapter National Black Nurses Association is the state nursing organization and a chapter of the National Black Nurses Association.

The Chicago Chapter National Nurses Association said the purpose of the Nurse Practice Act is to protect the public: “HB 313/SB 625 cannot allow non-nurses to deliver nursing care—it’s not safe,” Ellen Durant, MSN, RN president of the Chapter said. “HB 313/SB 625 will lower the standard of public safety previously provided in law. HB 313/SB 625 will allow non-nurses to deliver nursing care in community settings.”

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