President’s Update May 2020
Alberta Health Services
- Met with Angela Tran and Sandra VanHecke to lobby for legislative changes in light of COVID-19 to help facilitate use of NPs to full scope where needed.
- NPAA has also been working with the government around the same legislative barriers.
- This resulted in amendments to the Operations and General Regulation portions of the Nursing Home Act which were put into effect immediately.
- Will continue to work on making the changes permanent.
- Distributed an External NP Skills checklist to available NPs so if needed they could be recruited by AHS and deployed during COVID.
- Will continue with bimonthly meetings with Sean, Fadumo, Angela and Sandra.
- Departments within AH wrote the amendments that went to the government for immediate approval in regards to the Operations and General Regulations of the Nursing Home Act.
- NPAA met with Anita Paras, Jamie Tycholiz and Candy Gregory to discuss concerns with implementation of the PCN NP Support Model.
- We were advised that we need to work with this model right now, but will take feedback gathered to try and make the implementation smoother and ensure NPs are set up to succeed and have their own panel as it was meant to be implemented.
- NPAA continues to advocate for alternative funding models that will allow NPs to work wherever they are needed. AH recognizes this and is working on other options and will continue to work with NPAA on these and seek our advice as needed.
- NPAA continues to meet quarterly with Anita Paras and her team to keep updated on government workings as it relates to NPs.
- Sent letter to Labour Minister Copping on May 8/20 in consultation with our lawyer offering options to settle the Labour Board’s determination that exclusion of NPs to bargain is unconstitutional. Also put forth suggestions to afford NPAA official association status that will allow us to negotiate directly with the government and other employers in regards to NP compensation and other issues.
- We are preparing a brief in consultation with our lobbying firm Alberta Counsel to have ready for the minister when we meet so we are focused and prepared.
- While the website has been updated as a whole, there is still work to do to clean up content and categories so it is more user friendly and members can find what they need easily.
- Also want the public area of the site to be clear to showcase what NPs do but in a clear and concise manner
- Our goal is to keep it updated and running smoothly to afford members what they need.
- The CNPE exam is postponed until at least the fall. This decision was made at a national level. While NP students can work as a GNP, this has been a concern for many of our NP students. We will continue to be in contact with CARNA in this regard.
- Adding further lobbying topics to the work we are doing with Alberta Counsel which will include: 1) Language in the labour code to protect the integrity and independence of the NP profession in Alberta. 2) Continue lobbying efforts to make amendments to Nursing Home Act permanent. 3) Educate members of government and key decision makers on the NP role in the healthcare system.
- Issues around the NP exam were raised and they are working on efforts to get it rescheduled also. Has affected NP students across the country.
- Continuing lobbying efforts with insurance companies to recognize NP services as insurable like physicians. Looking at targeting the boards of insurance companies to see if that will help move things along. Difficult to find out who in the insurance world has the authority to actually affect change.
- Also sending a letter to drug companies looking at whether NPs can also have access to and utilize drug samples.
- Meeting quarterly with Deb Allen to discuss NP issues.
- The 0.5 FTE NP position at CARNA is still going through the secondment process and was not completed before the position term ended, they hope to have it filled again by the fall. Marcie Smigorowski was previously in this position.
- Have arranged with Dalhousie University to be the convener over the neonatal NP exam. CARNA has been working with the RAH to use their sim labs and this will be ready for the new graduates of the neonatal program.
- Still meeting bimonthly, upcoming meeting on May 14/20.
- Have been gathering feedback from members about the efficacy of the meetings and how to approve on them and actually get some work done.