Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Watch Out Texas Nurses!!! New bills affecting nursing may harm you

If you have not been tracking legislation that could affect your nursing practice, you need to do so NOW. The Board of Nursing has a great handout listing the various proposed bills. The bills that I have been watching closely are:

**HB 998, in support [this bill makes the current contested case procedure fair and is long overdue]

**SB 1880, against [see my explanation below]

Please take the time to educate yourself on the bills and contact your Senators and Representatives to tell them what you think about the bills. Too often the actual people that are going to be affected by the bills do not voice their opinion regarding the legislation.

I am very worried about various sections in SB 1880 and that the bill is trying to fix a few isolated problems with a mighty big hammer and that the resulting effect on nurses will be very sad. This bill came in the middle of my dear friend's illness and death, so I was not able to voice my opinion but I plan on doing so now. What bothers me is that when I looked at the witness list, I did not see any organizations or individuals that had experience with the day-to-day application of the incidents this bill proposes to affect. As I said, the bill on its face seems reasonable until you know about the actual application and the unfair, adverse effects the various sections will have on hard-working good nurses. I think it is crucial that our Legislators know about the effect various sections of this bill will have on nurses and ultimately the public because this bill will cause nurses to leave nursing, thereby increasing the nursing shortage.

Please contact your Legislators now or you will have to suffer the consequences of no action. I also want to point out that, unlike organizations with paid lobbyists, no one pays me to watch these bills or to take time to contact my Legislators or to sit at the Capitol for hours to testify; I do these things because I want to try to help nurses get the best possible laws in place that protect them and the public. And some of the proposed sections that I am fighting against or fighting for would actually take work away from attorneys, so there is no compensation there either. I am taking these stands because I believe that it is the right action to take.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Loss of a very special nurse

If any of you had the privilege to know Victoria Berry or had the good luck to hear her speak on nursing issues, it is with great sadness that I inform you of her death.

Victoria Lynn Berry
April 24, 1950 - April 7, 2009

The light in the world is a little less bright as Victoria Berry, age 58, was called home to heaven after her courageous battle with inflammatory breast cancer. She was optimistic throughout her treatment and true to her nature was more concerned about the problems of others around her than her own discomfort. She died at home surrounded by her family, friends and pets.

Victoria had a way of lightening everyone’s burdens. She was described often as an “angel on earth.” More so than her stunning physical beauty, she was known for her wonderful, vibrant spirit and grace. People were naturally drawn to her and she made them feel comfortable and safe when they were around her. Victoria was also an artist and she found a way to beautify everything around her. She was an avid doll collector and loved looking for antiques, but what gave her the most joy was spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.

Victoria was born in Bridgeport, Texas. She is survived by the love of her life, Roger Berry of Manheim, Texas; daughter, Tammy Jo McCleney and son-in-law, Brett McCleney of Manheim, Texas; her grandson, Jacob McCleney and her granddaughter, Jett McCleney of Manheim, Texas; her adopted Father, Paul Harrison of Ben Wheeler, Texas; her sister, Berma Thomas and niece, LeVita Barrett of Ryan Oklahoma; and her Father-in-law, Richard A. Berry, Sr. and Mother-in-law, Alma Berry of Sycamore, Ohio. She was preceded in death by her son, Shawn Skelton; mother, Lorene Shawn; adopted mother, Elvie Deitsch; Father, Weldon Shawn; and brother, Larry Shawn.

Victoria graduated from the University of Texas in 1980 with a Bachelors Degree in Nursing; she obtained her Masters Degree in Nursing in 1982. She was a Registered Nurse, a Clinical Nurse Specialist and a Certified Wound Care Nurse. The highlights of her nursing career included Director of Marketing at Healthcare Rehabilitation Center, the Director of Nursing at Shoal Creek Hospital, an Investigator at The Texas Medical Board and a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. Victoria was known to be a tireless supporter of nurses and nursing issues.

Funeral Services will be at 11 am Saturday, April 11, 2009 at Phillips & Luckey Funeral Home, 588 N. Main, Giddings, Texas.

Victoria dearly loved God’s creatures and she spent many hours caring for her dogs, cats, birds, horses and donkeys, but she did not stop there. She was a tireless supporter of animals and donated much time and money to help various organizations. In keeping with her goals in life, in lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the National Miniature Donkey Association Incentive Fund at NMDA Central Office, 6450 Dewey Road, Rome, New York 13440.