On Feb. 10, nearly 200 nurses and nursing students rallied at the State Capitol as part of ONA’s Nurse Lobby Day. During Lobby Day, nurses met with their elected officials and advocated improving Oregon’s Nurse Staffing Law and ensuring nurses are present at blood drives.
Thank you to all the nurses and nursing students who participated and made Lobby Day a success! Your advocacy continues to make a difference!
This legislative session, ONA will be working on all the issues you see above and many other important health and public policy issues.
You can learn more about some of the specific issues below.
SB 469: Hospital Nurse Staffing
Oregon’s nurse staffing law gives hospital nurse staffing committees the responsibility to develop staffing plans. Over the last decade, national research and ONA members’ experience with the law has revealed areas where the staffing law should be strengthened to improve patient safety and working conditions for nurses. ONA will advocate for improvements to Oregon’s nurse staffing law that will empower direct-care nurses, enhance transparency, increase the law’s enforcement and increase hospitals’ accountability.
- Click here to view ONA’s Framework for Changes to Oregon’s Nurse Staffing Law
- Click here to learn more about nurse staffing
HB 2541: Blood Drive Safety
Blood donation companies, like the American Red Cross are moving away from using licensed health care professionals on blood drives in Oregon and across the country.
If blood donation companies are successful, unlicensed workers would handle all donor suitability determinations; including physical exams where unlicensed workers take a donors’ health history, temperature, pulse, blood pressure, blood sample and determine a donors’ hemoglobin levels.
Without health care professionals present at blood drives, unlicensed workers would be also in charge of donor safety and the safety of the blood supply during blood drives.
Oregon’s School Nursing Initiative
In 2009, the Oregon State Legislature recommended the state establish a ratio of one school nurse for every 750 students by 2020. Currently, Oregon has only one school nurse for every 4,054 students, with no viable plan to meet the Legislature’s goal.
Without school nurses, students must rely on unlicensed staff to meet complex health care needs. This causes serious safety and health problems for students and their families, and safety, health and training liabilities for schools and school districts.
Students without access to school nurses miss out on valuable wellness and disease prevention education, early intervention services, and an important gateway to necessary medical services in and outside of school.
Solution: Oregon’s schools need a coordinated effort to meet the state’s school nurse-to-student ratio goal and spread the use of best practices to improve students’ health and academic outcomes.