This essay investigates and summarizes key issues of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) as an interest group. This interest group places a significant value on its members due to their contributions to the emergency nursing profession.
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Established in 1970, the mission of ENA is to advocate for the safety of patients and best practices in emergency nursing (Carlson, 2016). ENA envisions itself as the world leader in emergency nursing resources and advocacy for safe care and practice. The organization values collaboration realized through inclusion and contributions from partners to provide solutions for emergency care delivery challenges. It also strives for diversity, compassion, team-driven delivery of resources, and best standards of practice for emergency nurses and patients. ENA advocates for lifelong learning and a culture of research to integrate and promote evidence-based practices (Emergency Nurses Association, 2017). Integrity and honesty, as well as the spirit of philanthropy to promote the practice and patient care, guide its operations.
ENA’s legislative agenda includes safety in the emergency care setting, nurse education, practice, and quality and timely delivery of services. It is extremely active and influential on issues of legislation and regulations that affect emergency nursing and healthcare at both the state and federal levels. At the federal level, ENA often engages the government to express their positions on federal laws. In 2017, for instance, it had engaged the federal government on different issues, including thanking the House on the passage of the Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act, the use of standing orders by EMS practitioners, and opposing the new Senate legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) among others (Emergency Nurses Association, 2017).
At the state level, ENA recognizes that state policies have a major influence on the practices of emergency nurses. As such, ENA has created the Government Relations Team to identify, review, track, monitor, and advocate for all activities concerning emergency nursing and medical legislation in all the 50 states. It specifically focuses on the safety of patients, workplace violence, and nursing scope of practice. ENA influences law-making processes through grassroots efforts. It praised Utah, Delaware, and Georgia for enhanced workplace protection (Emergency Nurses Association, 2017).
ENA first focused on education and networking to develop its agenda. Today, however, it is an authority, which uses advocacy and activism to develop its agenda. Issues critical to emergency nursing are collected from nurses and channeled through ENA for further development and promotion.
Collaboration with all stakeholders, including nursing professionals, government agencies, and corporate bodies, remains the most vital approach for ENA. It works on behalf of emergency nurses in the US to ensure success in nurse and patient safety. Today, ENA’s Vision 2020 focuses on community, governance and leadership, knowledge, quality and safety, advocacy, and infrastructure.
Agenda Communication to Members
ENA has an annual day meeting to communicate with all stakeholders. Additionally, it also publishes annual reports every year to reflect its achievements, drawbacks, and way forward. All efforts are geared toward supporting issues important to emergency nursing.
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ENA uses activism and advocacy to promote its agendas. However, in some instances, it may not rely on advocacy alone, especially where all committee members approve its agendas. In such cases, it always strives for full bipartisan support.
Additionally, ENA has a devoted Government Relations team based in Washington, D.C, to advance its agenda to the federal government through the US Congress. The team focuses on the expansion of legislative advocacy to promote safety in emergency care settings. It also promotes increased member involvement in advocacy.
Current Lobbying Efforts
On July 2017, ENA categorically stated that it opposed any attempts to repeal and replace ACA without any provisions for protecting emergency health care services and individuals with mental conditions and substance abuse disorders. Broadly, ENA’s current lobbying efforts focus on health reforms and federal budget and appropriations (OpenSecrets.org, 2017).
Key Partner Coalitions
ENA represents more than 43,000 members who are mainly healthcare professionals. It works with government officials and corporate partners to achieve its goals of safe practice and care. The Academy of Emergency Nursing, an affiliate of ENA, has been instrumental in advancing emergency nursing practices.
Influences on Policies
ENA is the only authoritative, advocacy, activist, and vital voice for emergency nursing profession. Its influences on policies affecting emergency nurses and patients are profound. For instance, it has rejected the repeal of ACA without substantial improvements, contributed toward the Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act, supports the Stop, Observe, Ask, and Respond to Health and Wellness Act, and issued a statement on Health Care Principles, and many others (Emergency Nurses Association, 2017).
Legislative obstacles are the major challenges to ENA. As such, ENA Government Relations team works extremely hard to address these bottlenecks. It aims to increase legislative advocacy by lobbying many more members in the US Congress.
ENA also lacks adequate funds to support some of its partners, such as the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). It always advocates for laws that increase federal allocations.
ENA continuously addresses its leadership challenges through enhanced emergency nurse education.
According to OpenSecrets.org, ENA’s total lobbying expenditure for 2017 is $152,135 on two major areas, namely federal budget and appropriations, and health issues concerning reforms (OpenSecrets.org, 2017).
ENA is the authoritative body that uses advocacy and activism to promote safe environments for emergency nursing. It influences several policies in states and at the federal level through its Government Relations team.
Carlson, K. (2016). ENA advocacy and activism. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 42(5), 371–372.Web.
Emergency Nurses Association. (2017). About ENA. Web.
OpenSecrets.org. (2017). Emergency Nurses Association. Web.