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Top 10 NJSNA Legislative Successes

NJSNA Legislative Advocacy in Action

POLST

P.L. 2011, c.145. The Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, or POLST, form complements an advance directive by converting a person’s wishes regarding life-sustaining treatment into a medical order. A completed POLST form is signed by the patient’s attending physician or advanced practice nurse, and provides a specific and detailed set of instructions for a health care professional or health care institution to follow in regard to the patient’s preference for the use of various medical interventions.

Whistleblower Law

P.L. 1997, c.98, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) applies to all New Jersey employers with more than 10 employees. In general, it prohibits employers from taking retaliatory employment action against employees who “blow the whistle” by reporting to supervisors or public authorities, corporate conduct that the employee reasonably believes violates the law.

Safety Needle Act

P.L. 1999, c.311, makes it mandatory for all New Jersey healthcare facilities to use needles and other medical devices that have built-in safety features to prevent blood exposures caused by needle-sticks. Examples of safety features include self-sheathing needles, blunt suture needles and needleless IV systems.

Safe Patient Handling Act

P.L. 2007, c.225, became law on January 3, 2010. It requires New Jersey’s hospitals, nursing homes, developmental centers and psychiatric hospitals to establish and implement safe patient handling programs to help protect patients and staff from injury.

Violence in Health Care Facilities Act

P.L. 2007, c.236, directs health care facilities in New Jersey, including general and specialty hospitals, nursing homes, state and county psychiatric hospitals and state developmental centers to create programs to combat physical violence or credible threats of violence against employees.

Public School Nursing Services Act

P.L. 1999, c.153, requires that public school nursing services be provided by a certified school nurse.

Pronouncement of Death Act

P.L. 2006, c.86, permits Registered Professional Nurses (RNs) in all settings to pronounce death and to sign that portion of the death certificate regarding pronouncement. The law does not authorize RNs to declare brain death nor to sign that portion of the death certificate attesting to the cause of death.

Alternative to Discipline Act

P.L. 2005, c.82, establishes an alternative to discipline program for nurses through the New Jersey Board of Nursing. This law allows chemically dependent or otherwise impaired nurses to engage in a recovery and monitoring program instead of automatically undergoing disciplinary procedures.

Advanced Practice Nurse Act

P.L. 2004, c.122, amends the original Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist Act of 1992 and its 1999 amendment (P.L. 1991, c.377; P.L. 1999, c.85) granting Advanced Practice Nurses full prescribing authority for all drugs and devices including controlled
substances in accordance with a Joint Protocol; and clarifies scope of practice and changes title from NP/CNS to APN.

Honorable Mention

Mandatory Overtime Law

P.L. 1966, c.300, amends Labor Law, and through parallel Mandatory Overtime Regulations (at N.J.A.C. 8:43E) prohibits acute and long term care facilities from using mandatory overtime to solve chronic short staffing problems. LPNs or RNs repeatedly asked to work more than an agreed-upon schedule, not to exceed 40 hours/week in situations, which do not meet the threshold of an unforeseen emergent circumstance, can report this to the Department of Labor which enforces the law.

NJSNA Benefits

Your membership in NJSNA, which is the only organization to protect the practice of nursing in New Jersey, provides unique opportunities for you to advance your career, network with fellow nurses and gain knowledge that will improve patient care and influence decisions that impact nurses in the Garden State and radiate to the national level. Under a new pricing structure, all new NJSNA memberships will include dual membership in NJSNA and the American Nurses Association and cost $174. Membership includes:

  • Educational programming
  • Annual conference
  • Networking
  • Scholarships
  • Research grants
  • Leadership development
  • Legislative advocacy
  • Opportunity for service in state task forces or committees
  • Recovery and Monitoring Program (RAMP) for nurses
  • Career Center
  • Career Resources
  • Events
  • Insurance Programs
  • Legal Services
  • Practice Consultation
  • Professional Tools
  • eNewsletters
  • Electronic Job Flash

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NJSNA & ANA Membership

NJSNA and the American Nurses Association (ANA) are the only professional organizations representing the interest of all registered nurses, regardless of areas of specialization, clinical setting or working environment. Dual membership in both organizations connects you with nurses from throughout New Jersey and across the country as the single, united voice for the practice of nursing.
Your NJSNA/ANA membership provides unique opportunities for you to advance your career and gain more knowledge with additional educational opportunities to improve patient care and influence decisions that impact nurses at state and national levels.

Additionally, when you join NJSNA and ANA, you can:

  • Learn what you need with online access to learning resources on important issues impacting nursing (one FREE Navigate Nursing webinar every month — a $385 value).
  • Stay current on issues and news affecting nurses through free members-only publications, including: American Nurse Today, ANA SmartBrief, and OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing.
  • Get advice and support from nurses in your state and across the country.
  • Use member discounts on our extensive library of online CE modules to stay current on nursing topics and earn contact hours.
  • Save $125 on ANCC initial specialty certification and $100 on certification renewal as a member.
  • Improve your clinical, business, and leadership skills through educational programs.
  • Add your voice to advocacy efforts at the state and national levels.
  • Protect yourself with liability, life, and auto insurance
24/7 Crisis Hotline for Impaired Nurses - 1-800-662-0108