Three Nurses

— A state law enacted in 2017 aims to ease the shortage of health care providers in West Virginia, especially in rural areas. The law makes West Virginia part of the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, which allows nurses to be licensed in multiple states. Such nurses can travel where needed or consult with patients across state lines through telehealth. At least 28 other states have joined the compact, including Kentucky, Virginia and Maryland. The change can also ease the burden on …

5 States

— Entering the automatic door of any hospital or medical facility brings anxiety, fear, even sadness.  The smell of ultra-clean surroundings and a player piano producing sounds of hope and tranquility all add to the experience of understanding of what may be coming or what is unexpected. As you enter the hospital elevator, you see the looks of other incoming patients and the feeling is one of mixed emotions.  Sometimes, a nice visitor gives you a smile or tells a joke.  …

— By Sarah Hollander Soon after Mary Relotto moved her 90-year-old mother into her Columbus home last fall, she realized she would need help. While family members can perform nursing tasks for a loved one at home, state regulations restrict the tasks that hired caregivers can provide. Home health aides can assume many tasks, but nurses must perform others, including the administration of medications. Relotto, a 52-year-old business consultant, said she wanted more flexible options. “If I’m the responsible party, then …

— Caregiving is challenging, as Delaware’s 123,000 unpaid family caregivers can attest. Home health aides can provide needed support with tasks such as bathing, dressing and feeding. But because state law does not allow these workers to administer medications, family caregivers often have to leave work to do it themselves. AARP Delaware is pushing for legislation that would allow nurses to delegate certain medical tasks to home health aides to relieve the burden on family caregivers. The First State ranks 41st …

— By Holly Fisher Rep. Shannon Erickson’s great-grandfather was one of those doctors in rural Georgia who traveled the countryside to visit their patients. Sometimes patients paid in cash and sometimes they paid in chickens. Erickson’s mother was a nurse who spent more than 20 years in elder care. Her family history and her understanding of the need for better health care access in South Carolina led Erickson (R-Beaufort) to cosponsor a bill, signed into law in May, revising the Nurse …

— The Magnolia State is home to about 500,000 family caregivers who provide unpaid services to help aging loved ones continue to live at home. AARP Mississippi is recruiting advocacy volunteers to help pass legislation in 2018 that could help caregiving families. One proposed bill is the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, which would provide a simple way for people to deal with their property in case of incapacity, along with safeguards for the incapacitated person. Another legislative proposal would allow …

— As the state population ages, an increasing number of older Delawareans want to continue to live at home with help from family caregivers. But many caregivers have full-time jobs and can’t be home to manage medications throughout the day. AARP Delaware is studying nurse delegation as a possible solution. This change would let registered nurses delegate authority to health care workers under their supervision to administer medications. That would relieve family caregivers of the burden of doing it themselves or …

— By Hollie Deese When one of his nurses left his medication on a shelf just out of reach, state Rep. Darren Jernigan realized the frustration caused by state laws governing care. A paid care worker was legally prohibited from handing the pills to Jernigan, who has used a wheelchair since a 1990 automobile accident in which he was a passenger. “I had someone come in to give me some assistance in the morning and she could not hand me the …

— Hundreds of thousands of Coloradans are caring for an older parent or loved one, helping them to live independently in their own homes. These family caregivers have a huge responsibility, and now there’s support in place that will make a world of difference for them. A new law, the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act, is a commonsense solution to support family caregivers when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home. What is The CARE …

— Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) can make a huge difference in health care for patients in rural areas where doctors are few and far between. But without authority to perform certain medical tasks, these highly skilled nurses are hamstrung. West Virginia legislators passed a law in March that allows APRNs to use their education and training to better advantage. Previously, these nurses were required to have an ongoing collaborative agreement with a physician in order to perform certain tasks. Under …