TNA members develop legislative strategies for next general assembly.
Subject: Trade and professional associations (Political activity)
Nurses (Political activity)
Author: Sullivan, Meredith
Pub Date: 12/22/2008
Publication: Name: Tennessee Nurse Publisher: Tennessee Nurses Association Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 Tennessee Nurses Association ISSN: 1055-3134
Issue: Date: Winter, 2008 Source Volume: 71 Source Issue: 4
Topic: Event Code: 290 Public affairs
Product: Product Code: 8043100 Nurses; 8620000 Professional Membership Assns NAICS Code: 621399 Offices of All Other Miscellaneous Health Practitioners; 81392 Professional Organizations SIC Code: 8049 Offices of health practitioners, not elsewhere classified; 8621 Professional organizations
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Tennessee Geographic Code: 1U6TN Tennessee
Accession Number: 191286521
Full Text: As a professional organization, the Tennessee Nurses Association represents the 70,000+ nurses in the State of Tennessee. Yet as a membership organization, TNA works on behalf of our members to understand and meet their needs. To that end, TNA has been working diligently in the last several months to place our members at the heart of our policy development and government relations work. While we want to represent all 70,000 nurses, we want our members to have additional opportunities to influence what we do and how we do it.

TNA's efforts to collect better information from our members focused around two areas: TNA meetings and a TNA Member Health Policy Survey. For the meetings, I have traveled the state and spoken at almost every TNA District meeting. I provide background on TNA's legislative work and how members can get more engaged. I then allow a considerable amount of time for members to communicate issues they want TNA to address legislatively and how they think we should do this. This information has been compiled and provided to TNA staff for their review.

The latter assessment tool was a membership survey distributed electronically in September. Almost 300 members from a cross section of practice areas answered questions about the importance of 15 different policy matters. Members also got the opportunity to give specific recommendations for addressing these issues. The TNA Government Affairs and Health Policy Committee was provided the survey results. Some of the survey results are included in the two graphs on the right.



To focus our mission and message, the Government Affairs and Health Policy Committee took this information and developed three task forces around three main issues:


These three pillars, as we are calling them, summarize the major concerns of our membership. To address these concerns, a task force for each pillar was established. The task forces will review the survey results and recommendations from members, collect additional qualitative and quantitative data, and then develop three to five-year plans to meet the needs of our members.

Serving on one of these task forces is a great opportunity for members to understand better the legislative process and provide invaluable input and expertise on the significance of the issues and how best to address them. If you are interested in participating in the development of TNA's legislative strategies, please contact Cheri Glass at

We greatly appreciate the time members took to submit this information. Please know that your voices have been heard and we are using your opinions to guide our future actions. You have a crucial role in this process and we appreciate the time and energy you dedicate to better the nursing profession and Tennessee's health care system. I look forward to continuing to work with you to improve health care in Tennessee.

by Meredith Sullivan, TNA Lobbyist
Survey Results

Student-Nurse Ratio              76%
Unlicensed Practice              87%
Nurse Practice Act Encroachment  84%
Education Costs                  85%
Education Quality                97%
Healthcare Access                92%
Patient Costs                    95%
Insurance Reimbursement          90%
Nursing Shortage                 97%
Gov't Regulation Burdens         84%
Physician/Nurse Relationship     88%
Workplace Issues                 91%

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Survey Results Continued

Top Issues

Nurse Practice Act...         37%
Unlicensed Practices          34%
Nursing Shortage              34%
Workplace Issues              31%
Health Care Access            29%
Nursing Education Quality     27%
Physician/Nurse Relationship  21%
Insurance Reimbursement       19%
Cost of Health Care           19%
Access to Nursing Education   17%
Cost of Nursing Education     15%
Student to Nurse Ratio        12%
Government Regulations         8%
Other                          1%

Note: Table made from bar graph.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.