The Denial of Care Rule, the Equality Act, and Nursing Ethics

While this is focused on nurses, you don’t have to be a nurse to call your representative and advocate for the Equality Act!

GLMA Nursing

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights has released what they are referring to as “the final conscience rule protecting health care entities and individuals.” This rule is more broadly being referred to as the Denial of Care Rule, as it prohibits the government from penalizing practitioners or organizations for refusing to provide health care based upon religious conscience.

The president of GLMA, Gal Mayer, MD, has spoken out against this rule in no uncertain terms. In particular, he noted that, “The Denial of Care rule also stands in direct conflict with the Joint Commission and the major medical and health professional associations representing physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychologists, social workers and other healthcare providers that have adopted standards to ensure all patients, including LGBTQ patients, are treated with respect and without bias and discrimination in all healthcare settings.”


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GLMA Nursing Summit 2018 Keynote — GLMA Nursing

If last week’s agenda post was a little overwhelming, fear not! We’ll share some of the details between now and October 10. Our Keynote Speaker, Dr. TaMara Griffin, Sacred Soul SEXucator and Holistic Healer, will be speaking to us about the need for everyone, from clients to clinicians, to practice self care and heal old […]

via GLMA Nursing Summit 2018 Keynote — GLMA Nursing

Testing a nurse developed, patient-centered health tracking app

Fascinating study on the use of mobile health tracking apps. Like the author, I’m stunned that millennials were the hardest to recruit to participate and would love to know why!

ANS: Advances in Nursing Science Blog

The current featured article in ANS is titled “The Usability and Acceptability of a Patient-Centered Mobile Health Tracking App Among a Sample of Adult Radiation Oncology Patients,” authored by Susan D. Birkhoff, PhD, RN; Mary Ann Cantrell, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN; Helene Moriarty, PhD, RN, FAAN; and Robert Lustig, MD, FACR. The article is available at no cost while it is featured on the website!

In speaking about this work, Dr. Birkhoff emphasized how important it is for nurses to be involved in designing, creating, and evaluating digital tools. Nurses, she believes, have a rich perspective on what patients need, arising from their close relationship with patients.  Her work reported in this article arises from her realization that existing digital tools lack the perspectives that nurses bring to healthcare. In this video, she speaks to her experience conducting this study, and why it is important.

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CFP: CT Sexual Minority Youth Conference

Signal boosting. I’ve attended this conference for years and presented for the past two. I can not recommend the experience enough!

The 25th annual conference of True Colors, Connecticut’s advocacy and education organization for LGBTQ youth, seeks workshop proposals. The event will be Friday/Saturday, March 22 and 23, 2019. Participants include middle school and high school students, educators, and counselors.

The deadline for proposals is Friday, November 16, 2018.

Details and the link to the submission portal is here:

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Nursing Voices, Nursing Votes

Cross-posting from my Tumblr:

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) > Policy & Advocacy > Get Involved > Nursing Voices Nursing Votes 

I keep saying I’m going to blog on here more often, and then life happens.  Getting this link in email today prompted me to at least pop in with a signal boost. I mean, it is primary day here in Connecticut, so the timing is perfect.


My students have heard me say, and I’ve probably said it on here, that I consider the statement, “I’m not political” to be a dangerous cop-out for nurses.  Not knowing or paying attention to how our political system works means abandoning all responsibility and voice in shaping the policies that affect our profession.

(The same could be said more generally, but I’m focusing on nursing right now.)

Here’s a perfect example.  I have a family member (in another state) who recently underwent heart surgery, followed by weeks in the ICU and two bouts of sepsis.  I was relieved when they were d/c’ed to a SNF (skilled nursing facility aka rehab facility).  I was horrified when the SNF d/c’ed them home still needing q4hour iv antibiotics around the clock via PICC.

For the non-nurses reading along, that means they sent him home still needing heavy-duty antibiotics every four hours around the clock, to be given through a line basically dumping right into his vena cava – right before the heart he just had surgery on that led to all this mess.  At home.  By their spouse, who is chronically ill themselves (thus has no business being required to get up through the night to give meds like this) and has no clinical background whatsoever.

It shouldn’t take a nurse to see how many things are wrong with this picture.

As far as I know, this is not possible in Connecticut.  I’ve worked at a couple of SNFs, and “still needs iv antibiotics more than once a day” is one of the deal-killers for sending people home.  A visitng nurse can do daily, or maybe even twice-daily iv meds in the home.  Not every four hours.  And family members can not be delegated the task.  It has to be a licensed professional.  Someone who’s had years of training in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and aseptic technique.  I have some homework to do on exactly what is in the code to support this, because of course it’s cheaper to send people home.  Always.  It’s just not always safer.

My family member was glad to be home.  Their spouse was glad to have them home, and reassured me, “I can get a nurse on FaceTime to talk me through it,” which gave me an even bigger potential heart attack of my own.  They were lucky.  No third bout of sepsis.  All done with the antibiotics and life is good.  They were lucky.

I don’t want to see this happening here in my state.  I need to know what the code says and make sure that (in this haven for insurance companies) that if legislation is put forward that would allow this sort of dangerous practice, that nursing voices are heard and not just insurance company voices.  That means calling or face-to-face talking to my state rep and state senator, which is so much easier now that I’ve done it a couple of times.  I don’t agree with them on a lot of things, but when it comes to health-related issues, they’ve voted in ways I’ve advocated for.  Not just because of me, but me and every other constituent who had something to say.

That’s just at the state level.  There are federal-level policies that affect nursing too.  So it’s important for nurses to have at least a baseline familiarity with what’s going on and how it all works.

This is where the new AACN resource comes in.  It has easy-to-access information on voter registration, information on federal policy, connections to state grassroots liaisons, resources specifically for nursing faculty, resources specifically for nursing students, and more.

It is non-partisan, meaning it isn’t aligned with a particular political party.  That said, it’s obviously aligned with nursing priorities.  As someone who grew up with no party affiliation and a strong family background of voting issues rather than parties, I am emphatically in favor of this sort of resource.

We need to be engaged.  We need to be informed.  We need to be involved.  Go check this out, bookmark it, and make use of it.  I know I plan to.

Lydia Hall (1906 – 1969)


Inspiration for Activism!

  • Established and directed the Loeb Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation at Montefiore Hospital in Bronx, New York, from 1963 to 1969.
  • Her “Core, Cure, Care” nursing theory identifies the nurse-to-patient relationship as central to healing for those who are chronically ill (see more detail here).
  • Consistent with her philosophy that nurses were key to healing for people with chronic illness, Loeb was run by nurses, had an all RN staff; medicine served only as an ancillary service.
  • Her nursing-centered care model reduced rehabilitation time and length of stay by up to one-half to one-third.

More information here and here and here.

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Come one, come all, to the 2018 GLMA Nursing Summit! — GLMA Nursing

Signal boosting!

While it’s still early days for a detailed agenda, plans for the GLMA Nursing Summit on October 10, 2018 are taking shape. There will be a wealth of nursing knowledge and skills presented on topics such as e-cigarettes, transgender health, stigma and anal sexuality, sexual violence, sex work, trauma and alcohol among sexual minority women, […]

via Come one, come all, to the 2018 GLMA Nursing Summit! — GLMA Nursing