Ohio Nurses Review - December 2020


The Official Publication of the Ohio Nurses Association www.ohnurses.org


Volume 95, Issue 4

December, 2020


www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 |



The Ohio Nurses Review (ISSN 0030-0993) is the official

publication of the Ohio Nurses Association, 3760 Ridge Mill

Drive, Hilliard, OH 43026, (614) 969-3800. Indexed in International

Nursing Index and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health

Literature. Published quarterly. Circulation approximately 10,000.

Periodicals Postage Paid at Columbus, OH.

Published by ONA Staff and Arthur L. Davis Publishing Agency

Inc., PO Box 216, Cedar Falls, IA 50613. Layout and Design:

Chris Hall

ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION – Members of ONA, $15, included

in dues as a member benefit; Corporate first class postage

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membership card. Replacement copies, $5 prepaid with order.

POSTMASTER – Send address changes to Ohio Nurses Review,

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MISSION STATEMENT – The mission of the Ohio Nurses

Review is: To advance professional nursing practice in Ohio in

service of quality health care.

Articles appearing in the Ohio Nurses Review are presented

for the information of our members. They are not intended as

legal advice and should not be used in lieu of such advice. For

specific legal advice, readers should contact their legal counsel.

Copyright © 2020 by Ohio Nurses Association.



Deborah Arms, PhD, RN, President, Groveport

Carol Roe, RN, MSN, JD, First Vice-President, Cleveland Heights

Jacinta Tucker, MSN, RN, Second Vice-President, Midvale

Joyce Powell, RN, BSN, CEN, Secretary, Cuyahoga Falls

Annie Bowen, MSN, RN, CPN, NE-BC, Treasurer, Pataskala


Paula Anderson, RN, Westerville

Gina Severino, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, Canfield

Benitha Garrett, MSN, RN, North Olmsted

Jamie Burchett, BSN, RN, New Franklin


Rick Lucas, RN, BSN, OCN, VA-BC, CCRN, New Lexington

Iris Marcentile, BSN, RN, CPAN, Coshocton

Jessica Frymyer, RN, BSN, CNOR, Orient

Michelle Thoman, MSN, RN, Cincinnati

Robert Weitzel, RN, BSN, Harrison


Holly Renninger, RN, BSN, Uniontown


Jessie Frymyer, Chair


Robert Weitzel, Co-Chair


Iris Marcentile, Secretary


Michelle Thoman


Rick Lucas

New Lexington

Alex Watts


Ashlee Severs


Barbara McGhee



| Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | www.ohnurses.org


Kris Cope, DNP, RN, NE-BC,


Sharon Hawkins, MPA, MSN/ed,

RN, Co-Chair

Paula Anderson, RN

Benitha Garrett, MSN, RN

Laurie Hornberger, RN

Kenneth Quick, BSN

Holly L. Renninger BSN, RN

Deborah Schwytzer, DNP, RN-BC,




Barb Brunt, MA, MN, RN, NPD-BC,

NE-BC (chair)

Tahnee Andrew, MSN, RN

Lucinda Cave, MSN, RN, BC

Stephanie Clubbs, MSN, RN-BC, CNS

Susan Copeland, MS, RN, BC

Beth Griebel, MSN, BSN

Amy Knupp, PhD, RN,


Melanie Morris, MBA, BSN,


Diane Moyer, MS, BSN, RN

Laura Rafeld, MSN, RN

Gail Rhodes, MS, BSN, RN, OCN

Deb Shields, PhD, RN, CCRN, QTTT

Sue Smith, RN, MSN, CCHP-RN

Pam Dickerson, PhD, RN-BC (MS,

BSN, FAA, (Liaison for ANCC)

Nancy Campbell, MSN, RN-BC

(Liaison for Indiana)


Lisa Ochs, CEO

Tiffany Bukoffsky, Director of

Health Policy

Carolyn Carmack, Labor


Bob Cousins, DEO of Labor


Michelle Donovan,

Communication and

Development Coordinator

Alex Gehrisch, Membership


Dennis Dugan, Labor


Jessica Dzubak, Director of

Nursing Practice

Dodie Dowden, Assistant to CEO

Molly Homan, Director of

Communications and Marketing


James Humphreys, Organizer



Yvonne Smith, PhD, APRN, CNS


Sara Arter, Ph.D, RN

Kelly Duffey, RN

Peggy Halter, PhD, APRN

Rick Lucas, BSN, RN

Shelly Malberti, DNP, RN

Jeri Milstead, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

Teresa Monnin, MSN, RN, WCC

Genevieve Richard, BSN, RN

Gina Severino, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC

Carol Smith, RN

Jacinta Tucker, MSN, RN

Linda Warino BSN, RN

Robert Weitzel, BSN, RN

Teresa Wood, PhD., RN, NEA-BC


Peggy Berry, PhD, RN, COHN-S,


Tiffany Mattingly, RN



Barb Brunt, MA, MN, RN, NPD-BC,

NE-BC, Editor, Akron

Alyssa Mauser, BSN, RN, Akron

David Foley, PhD, MSN, RN-BC,

CNE, MPA, Parma

Jeri Milstead, PhD, RN, NEA-BC,

FAAN, Dublin

Kristine Cope, DNP, RN, NE-BC,


Lucinda Cave, MSN, RN, BC, Cleveland

Sangita Koparde, Organizer

Angie Lemery, Business Office


Cathy McClelland, Finance


Anne Mueller, Labor


Anne Ransone, Deputy Executive

Officer - Operations

Kelli Schweitzer, Senior Director of

Professional Practice

Robin Smith, Membership


Sandy Swearingen, Continuing

Education Specialist

Brittany Turner, Nurse Planner

Lisa Walker, Health Policy and

Nursing Practice Specialist

Rachel Wolfe, Assistant to DEO,

Labor Relations


By Deborah Arms, PhD, RN

Seasons Greetings ONA Members,

The theme of this ONR is Nurses Caring for Themselves First

Care for Others. In this month of giving, I think it is a perfect

time to give a gift to yourself.

It has been a very trying year for all of us, but especially trying

for those of you working on the frontlines taking care of very

sick patients. We have heard of the instances of the lack of PPE,

staff, and any relief in our hospitals from the continuing wave

of sick patients coming through our doors. Naturally this takes

a toll on all of you and I have heard numerous cases of nurse


In addition, nurses with family have been dealing with virtual

schooling for their children which is very stressful for a variety

of reasons. I don’t know about you, but I was Zooming with my

granddaughter trying to help her make a pincushion for her life

skills class while her mother was in the other room working

from home. Thank goodness she did not ask me to help her with

her 7th grade math problems.

For the elderly family members, their isolation is a worry and

takes a toll on us as we try and stay connected as best we can.

These are just of few examples of the caregiving we as nurses

take on not just in our jobs but with our family as well, whether

we have children, grandchildren or taking care of our elderly


If we do not take care of ourselves we will not be about to give

our best in our job and in our personal life. We know that the

pandemic is not letting up anytime soon, therefore I suspect

many of us will not be with family and friends over the holidays.

While that is not ideal, it can also be blessing for us to take the

time for ourselves. Focusing on your mental health through

meditation, yoga, reading a good book, taking a walk, sewing or

crafting, and even playing board or card games with your kids

while you are staying at home can bring some calm to a very

hectic time. Whatever you do, I ask you take at least one day to

pamper yourself. It is imperative that we as nurses get better at

resting and relaxing so that we can be recharged and ready to go

for the new year.

Have a safe and relaxing holiday!

All my Best,

Deb Arms


CEO’s Message................................................. 4

2020 Year in Review

Health Policy Council............................. 6

Caucus on Advancing Nursing

Education.................................................. 8

E&GW.......................................................... 9


Environmental and Community

Health Caucus (ECHC).......................... 18

CE Council............................................... 19

Council on Practice............................... 19

Caring During COVID-19: Being a Home

Health Nurse in a Pandemic...................21

Low Staffing Levels Leads to Increased

Risks for Nurses...........................................22

Annual Dues Increase..................................22

Nurse Wellness in 2020...............................23

Take Care of MYSELF???...............................24

What’s New on CE4Nurses?.......................25

AFT PPE Bus Tour...........................................26

2021 Convention...........................................30

AFT Benefits....................................................31

www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 |



By Lisa Ochs, CEO

Dear ONA Members,

As the year 2020 comes to an end, we cannot help but reflect on

the difficult and good times of the year.

The World Health Organization named 2020 The Year of the

Nurse and I know we all had great anticipation. As the year

2020 approached, our organization looked forward to what the

new year would bring and how ONA would celebrate the great

work of our nurses. We learned quickly that indeed 2020 would

be the Year of the Nurse and nurses would be the lifeline across

the world.

As we approached March and were preparing for a sold-out

Nurses Day at the Statehouse, COVID-19 came to the forefront.

It quickly became clear that we would need to cancel our event.

Although we were unable to hold Nurses Day at the Statehouse,

we were actively engaged in the General Assembly; especially

regarding COVID-19 and HB 144.

During mid-March, ONA staff were on calls with the

Governor’s office and CDC to gain the latest information

surrounding the virus. Our staff worked diligently to provide

the latest information regarding COVID-19 and toiled through

PPE challenges that were facing our bedside nurses. We held

tele-town events to hear from our members and to help them

navigate the impact the virus was having on their jobs and their

health. We were fortunate to have experts in the area of human

resources, employment law and healthcare to assist our many

members who were experiencing legal and financial challenges

as a result of the virus.

help our nurses stay safe. Through their generosity, we were able

to provide surgical masks, face shields, wipes and other PPE.

Unfortunately, ONA was unable to secure N95 masks.

In October, we were fortunate to receive 10,000 N95 masks

from AFT to share with nurses across the state. We are grateful

to AFT and all organizations that were able to help our nurses

who were helping everyone else.

The Year of the Nurse was a year of adapting to the “new

normal.” Our academic nurses were challenged to provide

virtual classes to prepare our future nurses. Somehow, they rose

above the difficulties and managed to find a way.

Not only were our academic nurses challenged to work virtually,

ONA was forced to adapt with staff working remotely while

cancelling some events and offering new ones. Among events

cancelled was the Special House of Delegates meeting slated

for October. With the “new normal,” ONA made the decision

to offer almost all CEs free to our members and utilization

dramatically increased. Our ONA Board of Directors worked

through these unprecedented times by holding virtual board

meetings to fulfill their responsibilities, complete strategic

planning and continue to move the organization forward.

2020 has truly been the Year of the Nurse and our country saw

firsthand why nursing is hailed as the most trusted profession

year after year. While this year has been difficult, I have been

privileged to work for an organization that serves such an

honorable profession.

As COVID-19 grew in strength, so did the resolve of our bedside

nurses who worked day and night to help our communities’ most

vulnerable. While many of our nurses worked in hospitals, many

became ill with COVID-19. And yet, they healed and went back

to work to help those in need. Many of our bedside nurses stayed

away from their families to keep them safe from the virus. To

assist them, we were able to provide gift bags with toiletries

from generous donors on Amazon Smile. Staff put bags together

for our nurses on the frontline.

There was a great deal of chaos around COVID-19 and our

nurses were greatly impacted with PPE shortages. Our nurses

were going into battle with an invisible enemy and they

didn’t have the PPE needed to protect them. The Ohio Nurses

Foundation Board was committed to donating funds to purchase

PPE and other needs. Through ONF, we were also able to team

up with companies such as Homage and Arlene’s Candles to

4 | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | www.ohnurses.org

www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 |



Health Policy Council

(Information provided as of October 16, 2020)

By Tiffany Bukoffsky, MHA, BSN, RN

In the midst of a global pandemic, the Health Policy Council

(HPC) has continued to work diligently over the past year

to review legislation introduced in Ohio’s 133rd General

Assembly. The Council has supported the review of and offered

recommendations for oral and written testimony that was

provided on behalf of ONA in various committees.

In 2019, HPC worked with ONA’s contract lobbyists, staff, ONA

leadership, Representative Don Manning, the Ohio House of

Representatives and interested parties to reintroduce mandatory

overtime language as House Bill 144. HB 144 is a bill aimed

to prohibit the unsafe practice of nurse mandatory overtime as

a condition of employment and would add Ohio to a list of 18

other states that prohibit the same practice. If passed, HB 144

would allow nurses to choose if and when to accept overtime

without fear of retaliation by their employer. During the first

half of the General Assembly, HB 144 successfully made its

way through the first chamber and was voted out of the House

of Representatives on December 11, 2019 by a vote count of

80-13. During the second half of the General Assembly, HB 144

received both sponsor and proponent testimony in the Senate

Transportation, Workforce, & Commerce Committee and ONA

is currently working with the Senate leadership and members

of the committee to pass the bill out of the second chamber and

have it signed by the Governor before the year’s end.

HPC worked to oppose Senate Bill 131, which is a bill that

aims to change the title of registered veterinary technician

to registered veterinary nurse. This bill is one that ONA

fought to oppose last General Assembly (HB 501) and it has

been reintroduced this legislative session. The bill has had

two hearings in the Senate Agriculture & Natural Resources

Committee. ONA launched a full-blown grassroots campaign

where over 2,000 connections have been made with the

committee members, asking them to oppose SB 131. Because

of ONA’s grassroots efforts, SB 131 has not received another

hearing during the second half of this legislative session.

Carol Roe, ONA 1st Vice President provided proponent

testimony on Senate Concurrent Resolution 14 (SCR 14), which

would declare racism as a public health crisis and asks the

Governor to form a taskforce to look at health outcomes as it

relates to minority populations. Ms. Roe testified in the Senate

Health, Human Services & Medicaid Committee on June 9th,

2020 and she provided information regarding ONA’s structure

as it relates to the Legislative Platform approved by the ONA

House of Delegates, as well as the improvement of health

standards and access to quality health care for all Ohioans.

Additionally, Ms. Roe spoke about health equality, equity, and

justice. SCR 14 was introduced on June 2nd, 2020 and was

referred to the Senate Health, Human Services & Medicaid

Committee on June 3rd, 2020. The resolution has received two

hearings to date and over 150 Ohio citizens and organizations

have provided support for the resolution.

ONA provided written interested party testimony for House 606

and Senate Bill 308, which grants civil immunity to a person

who provides services for essential businesses and operations

for injury, death, or loss that was caused by the transmission of

COVID-19 during the COVID-19 state of emergency. HB 606

passed both chambers and will take effect on December 16th,


The Council and staff have been working closely with Senator

Tim Schaffer, one of two sponsors of Senate Bill 348. SB

348 speaks to local boards of health and requires nurses to

serve on boards of health across the state and allows health

care professionals who serve on a board of health to receive

continuing education credits. The bill was introduced on

August 4th, 2020 and was referred to the Senate Health, Human

Services and Medicaid Committee, where it has received

one hearing to date. HPC worked with Senator Schaffer to

successfully amend the bill to include “registered nurse and

advanced practice registered nurse” to the definition of licensed

health care professional.

Many of the bills ONA’s policy team and the Health Policy

Council have been tracking this year, as it relates to the

pandemic, include language specific to workers’ compensation,

occupational disease coverage, hand hygiene, civil immunity,

price gouging, and COVID-19 testing and response. Of all

COVID-19 legislation, ONA was most heavily involved in

House Bill 673, a bill aimed to extend the temporary nursing

license for new graduates through July 1, 2021. The ONA policy

team began working with the bill’s sponsor Representative

Roemer, the Speaker of the House’s policy staff and the Ohio

Board of Nursing (who was also not supportive of the bill’s

language) to amend the nursing-specific language. In less

than three weeks’ time, the bill was favorably reported out of

committee and was scheduled for a House floor vote. ONA

was made aware the evening before the House floor vote and

swiftly took action, pulling together an official opposition letter

based on comments from ONA’s Health Policy Council and

sent it to the House leadership immediately prior to the House

session starting. HB 673 was scheduled to be the second bill

heard on the House floor and ONA continued to advocate for

an amendment to address concerns. The policy team spent

the afternoon on the phone and in conversations with the

House Democrats and Republicans and because of the strong

opposition from ONA, the Speaker stopped House session

and went into recess for two hours. ONA quickly drafted an

amendment with Representative Jamie Callender and the Ohio

Legislative Service Commission. The amendment was not only

accepted by the Speaker and the House leadership, but passed

6 | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | www.ohnurses.org

your member




with full support on the House floor. The amendment language

ensures that in order to get a temporary nursing license, a new

graduate cannot have failed the licensing exam, been convicted

of a felony, or failed a drug test. If a license is issued and any

of the above has occurred, that license is to be suspended. It’s

unheard of to stop the House session, but ONA was successfully

able to do so for two hours! This goes to show the true power

of ONA and the relationships the organization has built with

colleagues in the House. ONA will continue working on the bill

with the Board of Nursing in the Senate to address additional

concerns. The bill awaits its first hearing in the Senate General

Government and Agency Review Committee.

Senate Bill 341 and House Bill 765 are two bills that ONA staff

and HPC have been monitoring closely. Specifically, ONA has

been working with Senator Kristina Roegner, the sponsor of

SB 341. This bill would allow Ohio to join the nurse licensure

compact. Prior to both bills being introduced, the ONA Board

of Directors reviewed and reaffirmed ONA’s Position Statement

on Multistate Nurse Compact Licensure in July of 2020. Senator

Roegner had reached out to the ONA policy team to let ONA

know that she was interested in introducing a bill to allow Ohio

to join the Compact. ONA staff shared the reaffirmed Position

Statement with her office and offered to meet with her regarding

ONA’s position. During the same timeframe, staff and lobbyists

informed the Health Policy Council of the Senator’s intent.

Additionally, staff reached out to the Ohio Board of Nursing and

have continued to keep in close contact with the Nursing Board

regarding this issue. HPC and staff swiftly gathered information

and the HPC discussed the bill once it was introduced on July

21st, 2020. The discussion offered insight from all members

on the Council and the Council discussed ONA’s Position

Statement, questions and concerns regarding an Interstate

Commission not based in Ohio, and what could and could not

be achieved through bill amendments. Since its introduction,

the ONA Board and HPC has taken this bill seriously and

began compiling a list of questions that have been shared with

Senator Roegner. ONA continues to work with stakeholders in

the legislature, the Ohio Board of Nursing, the National Council

State Boards of Nursing and other interested parties to address

these questions. Lastly, the ONA staff are working together to

keep the Board and HPC abreast of changes and will formulate

an FAQ sheet as well as update ONA’s Position Statement

to be considered by the ONA Board. ONA will update the

membership on the progress of this bill. This bill will likely be

reintroduced by Senator Roegner in the next General Assembly.

Ohio is the only state in the country that does not license

hospitals and Governor DeWine made comments to the press

in 2019 that he would like to accomplish hospital licensure

during his tenure. Over the past year and a half, ONA staff and

lobbyists have met with the Governor’s Health Policy team twice

and the Ohio Department of Health once to discussion what

hospital licensure would look like and what can be accomplished

through statute and rule. ONA staff continue to research hospital

licensure in other states and what systems already exist in Ohio.

houses all of ONA’s campaigns in one location. The ONA

advocates have grown by roughly 3,200 and ONA connections

with lawmakers have grown by 12,500 over the last year! To

date, over 5,400 advocates have signed up to be a part of the

Action Center and over 19,200 connections have been made with

legislators, letting them know what nurses care about most.

The Health Policy Council met virtually in August to make

strategic decisions regarding the upcoming November elections.

The Council approved financial contributions to lawmakers

who support the profession of nursing and ONA held three

virtual fundraisers where ONA Board and HPC members spoke

with lawmakers from the House Democratic party, Senate

Republican party, and Senate Democratic party.

Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, ONA had to cancel this

year’s Nurses Day at the Statehouse (NDASH) and Advocacy

Academy. The Health Policy Council and ONA staff are excited

to plan NDASH 2021, which will be held virtually to keep

nurses, nursing students, and lawmakers safe during this global


2021 will surely be a year of additional growth, activism, and

protecting nurses and patients throughout Ohio. The 134th

General Assembly, which will begin on January 1st, 2021, will

bring its own set of priorities for the state and a new Health

Policy Council will begin their incredible work with this new

legislature at the same time.


This year was exceptionally busy, with ONA’s grassroots

presence at an all-time high. ONA staff have continued to use

Phone2Action, a grassroots platform to push all grassroots

campaigns using social media, patch-through phone calling,

and making connections with legislators through email. ONA

launched the Ohio Nurses’ Action Center two years ago, which

www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 |



Caucus on Advancing Nursing Education

By Barbara Welch, MS, RN, Chair & Mary Beth Mathews, PhD, RN, Vice Chair


The purpose of the Caucus on Advancing Nursing Education

(CANE) is to engage in educational, supportive, collaborative,

regulatory and legislative activities that advance the academic

education of the Ohio nurse workforce pursuant to directions of

the ONA House of Delegates and the ONA Board of Directors.


Doris Edwards, EdD, RN Chair (resigned 10/20), Barbara

Welch, MS, RN Chair, Mary Beth Mathews, PhD, RN Vice

Chair, Detrice Barry, PhD, MSN, MEd, RN, Jill Burd, BSN,

RN, Ella Kick, PhD, RN, Carol Roe, MSN, RN, JD, Nancy

Savage, PhD, Sharon Stout-Shaffer, PhD, RN. ONA Staff

members Jessica Dzubak, MSN, RN and Lisa Walker.

Meetings and reports:

CANE met 4 times and sent 5 requests for action to the ONA


Select activities:

1 Facilitated orientation of new CEO to CANE’s purpose, past

activities, and issues of ongoing concern. Established goals

for the biennium:

a Seek opportunities for collaborations which advance the

ONA Position Statement on BSN-in-Ten as the standard

for nursing education in the U.S.

b Facilitate engagement of ONA members who identify as

nurse educators via ONA Connect to facilitate networking

about the role of nurse educator

c Examine current practices related to faculty/nurse

educator workloads and working conditions.

d Provide resource materials on current issues for nurse

educators and preceptors

e Follow up on implications of HOD Reference Proposal #6


regarding cost-free clinical sites.

Reach out to other state nursing organizations about

current issues in nursing education.

2 Communicated to ONA leadership our support for finding

a national solution to mandatory overtime and assuring safe

staffing such as influencing rules promulgated by a national

agency like the U.S. Department of Labor or OSHA to

protect the health of nurses and the safety of the public.

3 Requested to be assigned to work on ONA Reference

Proposal #6 related to cost-free clinical sites. To date no

action has been taken.

4 Communicated to ONA leadership our concerns regarding

OBN being authorized to license new graduates without

NCLEX results because of workforce needs created by

COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to identify steps that

could be taken to mitigate any untoward effects.

5 Reviewed ONA’s BSN in 10 Position Statement and sent

recommendation to ONA BOD for re-affirmation. (Position

Statement re-affirmed by ONA BOD in June 2020).

6 Endorsed the ONA Executive Statement about relaxing

licensure rules to meet the workforce needs during the

pandemic, and recommended for action by the ONA

BOD the following additional measures to safeguard new

graduates, colleagues, and patients:

a. Deploy furloughed nurses, RN and LPN, to direct care

roles before hiring new graduates who have not taken


b. Advise new graduates to explore options for their own

professional liability insurance before accepting a position

in direct patient care.

c. If necessary to hire new graduates, assign them to support

roles in lieu of assignment to care for acutely ill patients

given the reality that orientation and mentoring resources

are limited by emergency conditions which include

shortages of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).


Affirmed importance of continuing the work of CANE’s

Task Group on Nurse Educator Workload (members:

Detrice Berry, Nancy Savage and Barb Welch)

7 Prepared letter and requested approval from ONA BOD to

send to AACN requesting that the AACN Essentials Task

Force reconsider its decision to remove the Health Policy

Domain from the CCNE accreditation standards. We urged

that Essential V: Healthcare Policy, Finance and Regulatory

Environments be retained.

8 Prepared survey to be shared with ONA members who

are in nurse educator roles and other nursing professional

development colleagues in all settings to determine the

challenges they are facing because of the pandemic and

identify needs with which CANE members and their

networks might assist.

9 Reaffirmed commitment to establish lines of

communication with other nurse educator groups in the

state in support of supporting educators experiencing

challenges created by pandemic restrictions.

8 | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | www.ohnurses.org



By Bob Cousins, DEO of Labor Relations at Ohio Nurses Association

I would like to start this article off by thanking the Economic

and General Welfare (E&GW) Commissioners for all of their

hard work this year: Chair, Jessie Frymyer, RN, BSN, CNOR

Co-Chair, Robert Weitzel, RN, BSN Secretary, Iris Marcentile,


Michelle Thoman, RN Alex Watts, BSN, RN, PCCN Barbara

McGhee, RN Ashlee Severs, RN

I would also like to thank the E&GW Program Staff for their

hard work: Labor Representatives: Carolyn Carmack, Brandon

Marlow, Anne Mueller, Dominic Mendiola, Dennis Dugan

and Kristen Bailey. Organizers: Sangita Koparde and James

Humphreys. Executive Assistant: Rachel Wolfe.

Nothing comes easy in the labor movement. However, this year

has been exceptionally challenging. The continued attacks on

worker rights from extreme right-wing groups like the Buckeye

Institute and the Freedom Foundation are at a fevered pitch. The

eroding of workers’ rights continues under the anti-worker Trump

Administration. Then, to add to all of this, a global pandemic. A

pandemic, that at the time of the writing of this article has infected

over 8 million people and has killed over 218,000 people nationally.

In the state of Ohio, we have seen over 176,000 cases (11% of those

healthcare workers, including ONA members) and over 5,000 deaths.

At the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19 it became

very clear that this country was/is not prepared to handle a

pandemic of this magnitude. First and foremost was (and still

is) the shortage of proper personal protective equipment (PPE),

concerns about a shortage of critical medical equipment and

other supplies, and the lack of clear CDC guidelines.

From the onset of the pandemic, ONA members have been seen

in national and local news advocating on behalf of all nurses

and healthcare professionals. They spoke about the lack of PPE,

the inadequate guidelines from the CDC and unsafe working

conditions. They fought hard to pressure the Trump administration

to invoke the Defense Production Act. They fought hard to pressure

Congress to pass the Heroes Act. Our members attended an AFT

townhall meeting that featured Dr. Fauci in which our members

were able to ask questions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, 22 members attended the AFT virtual convention.

At this convention E&GW Commissioner and OSUNO President

Rick Lucas had a conversation with former VP Joe Biden about

COVID-19 and the lack of proper PPE. Within our locals our

members have fought hard for safer working conditions, increased

access to PPE, and paid time off in the event a nurse was not able

to work, just to name a few. Working with our national affiliate,

the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) we were able to secure

over 200,000 pieces of PPE for our members. Additionally, our

members were still on the front lines successfully advocating

for our members through grievances and contract negotiations.

Although not an exhaustive list, some of the highlights include:

· In Lima, ONA was successful in an arbitration ruling that

resulted in over $70,000 in back pay and ended a policy that

amounted to unpaid incremental on-call.

· In Alliance our members were able to fight off attempts by

the employer to remove vacation and sick time usage. The

local has relentlessly fought the ever changing COVID-19

procedures that they believe to be unfair and unsafe.

· In order not to divert from their important role of COVID-19

notifications and contract tracing, the nurses at the Cuyahoga

County Board of Health negotiated a contract extension with

management and also negotiated to get temporary help for the

nurses to relieve schedules that were at maximum.

· At UH Geneva it became clear the importance of having

negotiated benefits. While other UH facility employees

suffered cuts to wages, retirement contributions and hours,

the unionized nurses at the Geneva facility did not.

· The nurses at the Visiting Nurses Association were able

to work with management on ways to increase nurse

retention, established more flexible scheduling and were

able to negotiate a COVID-19 differential for nurses who are

expected to see moderate to high risk patients.

· The apheresis nurses at the University of Cincinnati

Hoxworth Blood Center ratified their contract in February

2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning. They

were able to secure competitive wage increases, payment

for time spent preparing for procedures and premium pay

for reporting in inclement weather to perform procedures.

They travel all over the Tri-State Area providing lifesaving

treatments to patients in need.

· 2020 was a big year for the Transplant Coordinators at the

Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. During

COVID-19, the Transplant Coordinators at the Ohio State

University Wexner Medical Center continued to work at

a record-breaking pace to provide care for pre and posttransplant

patients. In June, they began negotiations for our

fourth contract. In October Transplant Coordinators ratified

a two-year agreement that provides for raises even during

COVID-19, includes per diem Coordinators for the first

time, and has many other improvements.

· COVID-19 hit hard, with OSUNO nurses being responsible

for corrections facility patients in addition to community

patients. Their strong contract and active membership

helped avoid layoffs or furloughs, and many OSUNO nurses

stepped into different roles during the height of the crisis to

help out their peers. While not immune to PPE shortages,

they were also able to successfully win improved PPE

standards. On July 1, even with COVID-19, the contractual

staffing ratios (4:1 M/S, 3:1 PCU, and 1-2:1 ICU, among

others) were mostly successfully implemented, adding

hundreds of new ONA members to our ranks.

Our members from OSUNO and Transplant joined forces to advocate

for raises for all staff that work at the Ohio State University Wexner

Medical Center, not just for the nurses who work there.

Although this has been a challenging year to say the least, ONA

members have risen to the occasion. As actor Denis Leary once

said, “crisis doesn’t create character; it reveals it.” And during

this pandemic our nurses at ONA have revealed heroic character.

www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 |




By Michelle Thoman, MSN, RN, RNA President

September 3, 2020- Long time Union Activist, Community and

Nurse Advocate, former RNA officer Annie Hamilton Retires.

RNA celebrates her long tenure as an early RNA member and

forever voice for nurses at UC.

October 15, 2020- RNA helps California Casualty celebrate Jen

Patrick winner of the Nurses Night Out drawing.

July 8, 2020- RNA President Michelle Thoman Joins Cincinnati

Federation of Teachers (fellow AFT local) at a rally outside of

the Sen. Rob Portman’s office to advocate for workplace safety

for nurses and urge the Senate to pass the Heroes ACT.

10 | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | www.ohnurses.org

May 6-12, 2020- Nurses week looked a little different this year,

however RNA still celebrated nurses. We continued on with our

second annual basket raffle and delivered much needed face

shield wipes from ONA.

www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | 11

May 6, 2020- For the Second Year in a row, at the request of

RNA the City of Cincinnati has made an official Proclamation

that it was National Nurses Day in Cincinnati.

May 1, 2020- Due to graduation cancellations RNA Nurses on

6NW celebrate former co-op students and pca’s graduating from

nursing school and becoming our newest RNA members.

12 | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | www.ohnurses.org

April 28, 2020- As a show of solidarity and fight for workers'

safety, RNA participated in the call from AFT to honor Worker’s

Memorial day by filing complaints with OSHA brought forward

by our nurses about unsafe working conditions in the face of


greatest concern in the midst of a global pandemic. This letter

was featured in the Cincinnati Enquire News article highlighting

workplace safety and financial concerns frontline health care

workers are experiencing in the region.

Dear Bev,

Almost two years ago to date the RNA nurses of UCMC

implored that you be our voice and advocate to management at

the bargaining table. In your tenure at UCMC we must say time

and again you have really disappointed us.

During these unprecedented times when nurses are faced

with putting ours and our families lives on the line to care for

patients both our economic welfare and general safety should be

your greatest concern.

We understand that nursing leadership may not be able to

answer all of the employment questions that RNA/ONA has

raised- however you should be asking those same questions.

We need to be assured that nurses have a seat at the table and

the correct people are in the room if there is ever a chance of


The nurses at UCMC are gravely disappointed by your

censorship of our nurses and Union leaders during the labor

management committee meeting this morning.

Many times during this meeting both yourself and HR spoke

about the need to ensure that the organization is taken care of.

We will say to you- the way to do this is to ensure that the front

line healthcare workers in our organization are taken care of.

On the agenda for LMC were not only employment issues but

also workplace safety concerns that desperately need to be

addressed. To abruptly end a meeting not even 30 minutes into

the call because you “Don’t like the forum” or the questions

being asked is both immature and negligent towards your staff.

Union leaders have attempted to collaborate and discuss

both the safety and employment affects of COVID-19 with

both you and HR since the end of January. It is time you take

responsibility for your careless actions and provide real

answers and solutions to the concerns raised by nurses. It

is dangerous and reckless to continue down the path that

UCMC administration has chosen to follow so far during this

unprecedented time. For the safety of our patients, our staff, and

our community, we insist that you take immediate action to truly

collaborate with RNA and to do your part as a nursing leader

to assist the frontline nurses who are the heart and paycheck of

this organization by doing the following:

#1. Be transparent with RNA regarding levels of PPE and

numbers of nurses exposed, quarantined and infected.

#2. Fix the Sign-up Genius to allow all nurses the ability to

fairly and equitably attempt to fulfill their FTE.

April 20, 2020- RNA Officers and Board write and open letter

to CNO Bev and nursing administration, publicly calling for

nursing administration to have nurse safety, and welfare be their

#3. Advocate for nurses in the workplace to implement the

maximum PPE precautions available and optimal staffing levels

throughout the hospital.

www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | 13

#4. Provide the front-line nurses of the RNA an equal and

informed seat at the table to discuss the issues facing them

during this unprecedented crisis.

March 27, 2020- RNA President Michelle Thoman spoke at

frontline roundtable with Vice President Joe Biden. During this

discussion cincy nurses concerns about exhausting their hard

earned PTO bank were elevated with the question:

“When nurses are being placed off of work and have run out

PTO so they are not being paid, and they start defaulting on

mortgages and being unable to afford groceries or student loan

payments, what should the government do to help them?”

January 23, 2020- RNA wraps up its Make-A-Wish Fundraiser

campaign with a special event to help grant Alex’s Wish. Joining

RNA member’s were members of Alex’s family and the Make-

A-Wish Support Team!

March 23, 2020- RNA Float Pool nurse Shannon

Lively shares her thoughts with the community on the

importance of visitor restrictions to help keep frontline

healthcare workers and patient’s safe. https://www.



March 4, 2020- New RNA delegates to the Cincinnati AFL-

CIO Central Labor Council Aileen Harms and Jen Hunt are

sworn in at the monthly meeting.

October 17 & 24 2019- RNA members hear the call and get

involved in supporting our Union Brothers and Sisters in


January 30, 2020- In response to outbreaks of the Coronavirus

and the testing of two students at Miami University, RNA/ONA

issued a formal information request to UC Health, surrounding

the Medical Center's infectious disease preparedness.

RNA advocates to ensure, that we as nurses are prepared and

given the proper education, equipment, and tools to not only

safeguard our health and safety but that of our co-workers and

patients at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

14 | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | www.ohnurses.org

October 12 2019- RNA Vice President Tina Arrona received

the outstanding local unit leader award and all RNA Members

received the Adversity Award during this year's ONA


October 10, 2019- RNA Celebrates Member Tim Collier, 6S

(cardiac) appointment as a board member to the Cincinnati

Board of Health.

September 10, 2019- RNA nurses and our community allies

continued to fight to so we have a voice in the workplace and

for our patients! We let UCMC know that we are Proud Union

Nurses and We Won’t Be Silenced.

www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | 15

16 | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | www.ohnurses.org

September 2, 2019- RNA Members joined local labor unions

at the annual AFL-CIO Labor Day Picnic and helped provide

community screenings through the Million Hearts Program.

www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | 17


Environmental and Community Health Caucus (ECHC)

By Lucinda Cave MSN RN NPD-BC, Chair

“The purpose of the Caucus on Environmental & Community

Health (ECHC) is to engage in education, support, collaboration,

regulatory and legislation surveillance, and activities that create

awareness, education, and understanding for the Ohio nurse

workforce and the ONA Board of Directors on environmental

and community health issues and injustices.” (ECHC Purpose

Statement & Functions).

To fulfill our purpose, ECHC benefits from ONA networking,

tying together the environmental/community health interests

and actions of individual members, the caucus group and

increasingly, ONA as a whole.

Recent Interests and Actions of Individual ECHC Members

Peggy Berry PhD, RN, COHN-S, CLE, PLNC:

A2Z Plastics – has educated worldwide on the health and

economics of plastic, especially the adverse effects.

ReImagine Appalachia - economic federal outreach to increase

green jobs, broadband expansion, repairing the land from

extraction industries, and regeneration of the land through a

conservancy corp.

Freshwater Future - have done several Zoom education

activities of the health issues associated with toxic algal blooms.

Promoting clean water.

League of Women Voters (LWV) - Greater Dayton Area: will be

teaching on PFAS over Zoom.

LWVOhio and Sierra Club: gave them a work instruction how to

decrease COVID-19 exposure while registering voters - gave a

cleaning routine. Working to rescind HB 6

Peggy encourages ONA and members of ECHC to address bills

on health, as well as nursing issues.

Lucinda Cave MSN RN NPD-BC: Alliance of Nurses for

Healthy Environments (ANHE) Climate Champion, Healthcare

Without Harm/Physicians for Social Responsibility Climate

Ambassador. Presents programs to healthcare professionals on

climate and health.

Deb Martz RN: Was in charge of lead poisoning program at

Akron City Health Dept.

Alyssa Figueroa BSN RN: Belongs to Citizen’s Climate Lobby

and is working with U.S. Legislators to support the Carbon

Dividend Act. In Ohio, Alyssa is working on efforts to repeal


Janet Reeves RN: Has been active in many environmental issues

for many years. Recently, she has encouraged local Farmers’

Market vendors to set out cardboard boxes to reduce the use of

plastic bags. She is becoming interested in vaccine hesitancy

and seeks to promote use of safe vaccines.

Marilyn Webster MSN RN: Has worked with Single Payor

Action Network (SPAN) focusing on access to health insurance

and she promotes green living.

Actions of ECHC:

ECHC members had noted the increased use of plastic shopping

bags during COVID-19, with some stores even prohibiting

reusable cloth bags. After online research, with BOD knowledge

and support, ECHC embarked on a Cardboard Box Campaign

to reduce the amount of plastic released to our landfills and

environment. ECHC asked ONA members to:

1. Use reusable shopping bags and containers if allowed,

keeping them clean, and bagging their items.

2. Use cardboard boxes provided by some stores if reusable

containers are not allowed.

3. Encourage that stores make their cardboard shipping boxes

available at no cost for customers to use instead of plastic.

4. Encourage that stores allow customers to use reusable bags

once again during COVID-19.

ECHC provided links to information about COVID-19 safety

and shopping bags, and a letter template for sending to stores

requesting that they resume allowing reusable bags.

We realize individuals can make a difference in the tremendous

environmental issues that affect us, but that the voices and

efforts of many working together can make an even greater

impact. We look forward to working with ONA on future

environmental/community health issues.

Rosemary Chaudry PhD RN MPH MHA: Was in charge of first

letters that went out to Medicaid providers about lead testing for

children. Joined ANHE. Is a Climate Reality Leader.

18 | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | www.ohnurses.org


CE Council

By Kelli Schweitzer, MSN, RN, NPD-BC

Grateful for returning members this biennium and the addition

of three first time members, Nancy Sue Smith MSN, RN,

CCHP-RN, Amy Knupp, PhD, RN,APRN-CNS, CPPS, and

Beth Griebel, MSN, RN . In addition, we have a new Indiana

liaison, Nancy Campbell MS, RN-BC. Each has completed

the training to be Nurse Peer Reviewers for approved provider

applications and are doing well.

The CE Council was active in the testing and success of new

application software for Individual Activity Applications. As

the largest CE approver among CSNA’s, ONA manages over

700 applications per year that are each independently reviewed

by a trained Nurse Peer Reviewer. When ONA was notified

that the current software would no longer be supported they

then transitioned to a new platform ONAapply. ONAapply has

resulted in greater efficiency for applicants, reviewers, and staff


ONA supports 184 organizations as approved providers that

apply every three years to maintain their status. two CE council

members review each application. This year the CE Council has

reviewed 58 applications.

To maintain their competency as Nurse Peer Reviewers each

CE Council member completed the Nurse Peer Reviewer

retreat CE offering and participates in CE Council meetings.

In addition, they maintain their knowledge of ANCC criteria

by participating in our yearly Provider Update and Nursing

Professional Development, NPD, conference which were both

offered virtually this year. We are grateful that Barb Brunt,MA,

MN, RN-BC, NE-BC, CE Council chair, was able to speak this

year at the NPD conference

ONA launched a new CE4Nurses website that gives member

ease of access to free CE. CE council members Barbara Brunt,

Lucinda Cave, MSN, RN, BC, and Melanie Morris, MBA, BSN,

RN-BC, CCRN-K, have contributed content for the site.

Council on Practice

By Jessica Dzubak, MSN, RN

During this challenging year, the 2019-2021 Council on Practice

has been working hard staying up to date on the rapidly

changing issues affecting nurses in Ohio. With a new Council

and new Reference Proposals from the 2019 Convention, the

Council has been evaluating priorities and identifying ways to

support the professional development of ONA members and

provide nursing practice resources for Ohio nurses.

Some activities the Council has participated in this year:

Revised ONA Position Statements which were re-affirmed by

ONA Board of Directors

Reviewed and discussed five-year chapter rule reviews for Ohio

Board of Nursing

Identified Immunizations Reference Proposal as priority –

began working on campaign to increase awareness and promote

immunizations in Ohio communities

“Serving as co- chairs, we have had the privilege of exploring

how registered nurses could circumvent back to the most basic

skills of the profession. Addressing immunizations, social

justice and the pandemic has allowed us to realize that we

nurses can change the world in which we live, the communities

in which we live and secure the future of being a registered

nurse as one who teaches, encourages protection of the village

and looks at the social determinants in light of the health of a


Kris Cope and Sharon Hawkins

Members 2019-2021:


Kristine Cope, DNP, RN, NE-BC Sharon Hawkins MPA, MSN/

ed, RN


Paula Anderson, RN, Benitha Garrett, MSN, RN, Laurie

Hornberger, RN, Kenneth Quick, BSN, RN, Holly Renninger,

BSN, RN, Deborah Schwytzer, DNP, RN-BC, CEN


Jessica Dzubak, MSN, RN, Lisa Walker

www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | 19

20 | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | www.ohnurses.org

Caring During COVID-19: Being a Home Health Nurse in a Pandemic

By Jessica Dzubak, MSN, RN

Interviewee: Shauna Pavel, BSN, RN

Hearing about Shauna Pavel’s experience as a home health nurse

during the COVID-19 pandemic reminds me of the reason why

nurses are the most trusted profession, year after year. Despite

the challenges brought on by this public health crisis, nurses like

Shauna are resilient – showing up every day, protecting their

patients and showing compassion in a chaotic time.

What is your background and current nursing role? How long

have you been in your current position?

I have been in health care for 10 years. I became a caregiver at

a senior group home at 18. Then became an STNA and worked

at a SNF/LTCF for a few years while I was working on my BSN

at Ursuline College. My last year of nursing school I worked at

Cleveland Clinic - main campus in neurology where I eventually

transitioned into my RN job. Now, I am an RN Case Manager in

the medical-surgical department of my home care agency. I have

been doing this for over three years now.

What do you like most about being in home health?

It may sound simple, but I like the environment. When you

provide care in the home you are working on the patient’s turf,

on their terms, unlike the hospital or another facility. They are

more comfortable, the food is better, they are getting better

quality sleep, they have more help. When they are happy, I

see better outcomes. They are more willing to listen to my

recommendations because they want me there. They HAVE to

be in the hospital; they don't HAVE to have home care. We are

optional. They chose it; they know it's what they need to prevent

[them from] going to a facility. There is something really

rewarding taking care of someone for weeks, months, years at a

time and watching them heal from beginning to end. You don’t

get that in the facilities.

How has your work/daily routine changed or been impacted by


What’s clear throughout Shauna’s interview is the selfless

compassion of nurses to care for others, despite the risk and

impact on their personal lives. When Shauna’s home care

agency asked for volunteers to be trained for COVID-19 care,

she volunteered without a second thought. “I volunteered not

even considering [I would be] putting my fiancé at risk and [that

I’m] not able to hug my parents,” Shauna said.

By the end of March, I was on the COVID-19 "Swat" team. There

are only a few of us on the team that had to deal with policy change

after policy change until we mastered how to perform an in-home

COVID-19 positive visit without contaminating ourselves, our cars,

equipment, etc. I am also one of the few nurses that are trained to

test employees and patients. So being on the Swat team means I

have to do my regular job as a case manager, while also being super

flexible so I can be where I'm needed for a swat team job. All while

not infecting myself or my other immunocompromised and highrisk

patients. The stress from March-May was unreal. Luckily my

fellow swat nurses are incredible and we are a well-oiled machine

now. Each COVID-19 associated visit or testing is a 2-nurse

process, so we work really closely

together and communicate constantly.

Shauna, like many nurses, struggled

with the fact that many patients

wanted to be discharged from home

care before a single visit or refused

hospital or physician care out of fear.

Surgeries were postponed, so patients

lived with pain, wounds, and other

conditions that only worsened with

time. The inherent desire to care

for and help others that drives us as

nurses is what makes witnessing this so hard.

I have also noticed

the need to go above

and beyond to make

my patients feel

safe...I have to be

aware of their fears

and address those


What have been some of the barriers or challenges you’ve

experienced lately because of COVID-19?

There is the constant struggle of needing PPE. Our company has

a solid amount to keep us all safe, but it is organized inventory

style and you only get so much at a time, and you have to fill out

forms to get it. It feels very “this is your portion, make it last.”

While Shauna reports feeling safe and prepared now, she

remembers navigating a difficult time in March when the

pandemic first hit and companies were struggled to get stocked

up on PPE.

I understand the process, I respect it... It’s just a foreign concept

for nurses who are used to going to a supply room, stocking our

(multiple) pockets in our scrubs with whatever we need and keep


Shauna shares an important point that often gets overlooked

when thinking about how this virus has impacted our lives. The

human response and connection, which nurses are so attuned

to, has changed drastically. A difficult aspect to these changes,

Shauna is explained, is that “I don’t hug my patients when they

hit a milestone, like I normally would.”

Beyond considering safety factors to protect themselves, nurses

like Shauna consider the impact it has on those they care for:

I have also noticed the need to go above and beyond to make my

patients feel safe. I show them my face before I enter their house

and don my PPE, I warn them on the phone that I have to dress

up crazy and not to be alarmed. I have to be aware of their fears

and address those first. I have to screen people for risk factors

all the time I sometimes feel like a robot, and that’s not the type

of nurse I ever want to be.

I make sure to share with my patients what me and the company

are doing to protect them, and I am harder on my patients about

infection control and staying home.

While it is upsetting to hear about the difficulties both patients

and nurses are experiencing, we can all take comfort knowing

there are many nurses like Shauna out there doing the best they

can to make patients feel safe while providing the quality care

they need, no matter what.

www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | 21

Low Staffing Levels Lead to Increased Risks for Nurses

By Georgia Reiner, Senior Risk Specialist for Nurses Service Organization (NSO) in the Healthcare Division of Aon’s Affinity Insurance Services, Inc.

There’s a strong correlation between nurse staffing levels and

patient outcomes. When a nursing unit is understaffed, nurses

may unintentionally provide patients with suboptimal care and

make more frequent mistakes, simply as a result of the increased

constraints on their time. Higher rates of nurse retirement and

other trends – like the aging Baby Boomer generation – are

augmenting these staffing shortage challenges and resulting in

risks, particularly burnout, to nurses.

Understanding these challenges can help improve nurses’ career

longevity and reduce medical errors and burnout. The risk

experts at Nurses Service Organization (NSO) identified key

risks for nurses as a result of staffing shortages:

• Longer hours. Shifts often stretch at the last minute. This

can lead to increased fatigue, weakened mental acuity, and

the opportunity for an error increases. When combined with

increased patient ratios, nurses have more opportunities to

inadvertently make mistakes and injure those they serve or

themselves. Longer hours can also lead to job dissatisfaction

and burnout, which stresses healthcare teams and staffs.

• Increased likelihood of “floating.” The nursing shortage

creates gaps in coverage and the need for additional nurses

to ‘float.’ However, when nurses are assigned to an area

they are unfamiliar with, or when a team of nurses has a

professional from another department entering their unit,

it can create confusion and disrupt workflows. Workplace

dynamics will continue to evolve as facilities move nurses

as needed to address shortages.

• New nurses entering the workforce. As more nurses

retire, a steady stream of new nurse will need to enter

the workforce to fill those gaps. These new nurses will

need experience, on-the-floor training and mentoring to

acquire the skills needed to master their environment and


• More responsibilities. Nurses are at the center of patient

care, and often act as an advocate between patients and

physicians, and patients and their family and friends. Nurses

are increasingly responsible for facilitating the coordination

of care and providing informed discharge instructions

for patients. This leaves room for the potential to impact

outcomes and nurses’ exposure beyond the facility walls.

• Intensified patient loads. The Affordable Healthcare

Act has increased the number of individuals with health

insurance, including individuals who have multiple

comorbidities, who once used to only seek treatment when

necessary through the ER. A larger and more complex

patient load, coupled with inappropriate staffing levels, can

threaten patient health and safety.

As the country continues to see an increase in the number

of people aged 65 and up, as well as more nurses entering

retirement, a nursing shortage will continue to be a concern.

Nurses must be aware of their increased risk of facing liability,

and know how to protect themselves and their careers.

Annual Dues Increase

The ONA bylaws call for an annual dues escalator calculated by

determining the average percentage salary increase negotiated

by ONA for its bargaining unit members as of October 1st of

each year. For 2020, this increase is 4.014% and is effective

January 1, 2021.

For monthly electronic dues payment payers: Effective January

1, 2021 your monthly dues will increase by the following


Non-Collective Bargaining

Full Rate: $1.65

First Year Rate: $.83

Retired Rate: $.42

Collective Bargaining

Full Rate: $2.13

First Year Rate: $1.07

AFT (Collective Bargaining Only)

Full Rate: $.25.

*No Dues increase for AFT at this time

If you have questions about the annual dues increase, please

contact Cathy McClelland at cmcclelland@ohnurses.org.

22 | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | www.ohnurses.org

Nurse Wellness in 2020

By Brittany Turner, MSN, RN

2020 has tested our resiliency as a society, and the nursing

profession is feeling the brunt of it. Nurses find themselves in

the midst of an exacerbated mental health crisis and realizing an

increasing need to speak out against racial health inequities, all

while simultaneously battling a global pandemic that has taken

over nearly every aspect of life. But then again, nurses are used

to juggling competing priorities. Everywhere you look you will

see a nurse successfully caring for their patients and families,

even in these most trying times.

However, at what cost?

Prior to 2020, nurse wellness was already a concern. The

Health Risk Assessment, conducted by the American Nurses

Association (ANA) from 2013 to 2016 identified key data that

indicated “the health of America’s nurses is worse than that

of the average American” (ANA, 2020). That is a staggering

realization. However, when looking at the reasons behind

this, such as shift work and long hours, workplace violence,

occupational injuries, and higher than average stress, a clearer

picture of ‘why’ emerges.

The ANA ‘Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation’ initiative was

designed to improve nurse wellness and outlines five key areas

that nurses can address to improve wellbeing: physical activity,

rest, nutrition, quality of life, and safety. Nurses can join the

program and complete a health assessment to get information

about individual health risks. From there nurses can join

challenges to address identified risks. Get started at www.


In addition to ‘Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation,’ you can take

advantage of other free or reduced cost resources for mental

health and resiliency through ANA.

• Type “ANA Wellbeing Initiative” in the search bar of your

web browser to find the Coronavirus | Well-Being Initiative |

Mental Health | ANA page.


This resource offers tools nurses can use to address stress,

mental health, financial wellness, and grief.

• Type “ANA Nurse Suicide Prevention” in the search bar

of your web browser to find the Nurse Suicide Prevention/

Resilience page.


This is an easy to navigate webpage with resources

divided into the following categories:

- Getting the help you need now

- Mental health promotion and suicide prevention

- Greif, bereavement, and healing in the aftermath of

co-worker suicide

- Suicide attempt survivors

Both of these ANA resources can help nurses who are

struggling under the pressure this year has brought, and can

help equip those who are not struggling to be a resource for their

colleagues and friends.

The Ohio Nurses Association also offers resources for nurse

wellness. A variety of continuing education is available that

addresses health and stress management / burnout at www.

CE4Nurses.org. Also, members of ONA can join ONA Connect

for the opportunity to engage with other nurses and benefit from

peer support.

If your health has suffered during this pandemic, take advantage

of these member resources to get your health back on track. If

it hasn’t, be a support to a nurse peer in their journey. If all of

Ohio’s over 200,000 nurses focused on their wellness, and role

modeled that behavior for their peers, family and friends, we

would quickly see a healthier Ohio.

Ohio Nurses Association

Events 2020-2021

Event Dates

Save the date:

Virtual Nurses Day at the Statehouse (NDASH)

March 10, 2021

More details to come.

Please visit CE4Nurses.org for recently added CE programs.

Stay Tuned for the Labor Institute

www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | 23

Take Care of MYSELF??

By Jeri A. Milstead, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

During this COVID-19 pandemic, an issue has become a focal point: as

nurses, we have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others.

This truth is, we should do this as human beings and not just a health

crisis but every day. This article will present some realistic ideas about

how we can do this:

1. Eat well – Nurses know what we should eat in order to be healthy.

We’ve had nutrition courses and, perhaps, have even counseled

our patients on the food pyramid or plate or whatever model you

use. Generally, we should fill our bodies with moderate amounts

of colorful foods, stay away from transfats and sugars, and stay

hydrated. Sounds easy, yes? However, I think it is safe to say

that many, many nurses do not follow this routine—and for a

variety of reasons (excuses?) You may not take an adequate meal

break—the practice is too busy, an emergency just arose, the space

is not conducive to digesting. If you didn’t have time to get to the

grocery or only had time to zip through the grocery, you may

not have taken time to browse the produce section to really make

wholesome choices. If you pack a lunch, you may have packed

what would fit into the bag, not necessarily what constitutes

healthy food. It’s not what you know, but what you do. So, how do

you do things differently? Some ideas:

a. Think color: We often shop without much thought—we buy

the same things time after time (it’s called practical efficiency!).

So, re-frame shopping and use your sense of color and smell

to influence a few new items. Let your eyes draw you to items

you may have passed by. Stand still and let your nose direct you

to fruits and vegetables you may not be familiar with. Take a


b. Preparation and Durability: Red apples and green grapes don’t

need preparation. Turnips (yes, raw turnips) and raw green

beans (yes, raw) have a different consistency when raw and

need no preparation. Cherry tomatoes and dried fruits are

durable and need no preparation. None needs refrigeration or


c. Watch YouTube or other websites for ideas on how to cook (or

not) food in different ways. Stir-fry is quick and could be a new

way to mix meat and veggies. Pull out that food processor that

is stored in the back of your cupboard—it may suggest soups or

juices that you haven’t tried before.

d. Think of different ways to fix your usual meals. Lettuce might

make a better wrap than bread for a sandwich.

e. Your turn: What suggestions do YOU have?

2. Get enough rest – Hah, she says! If only… To say blithely that

we all have the same 24 hours in a day is to show a lack of

sensitivity at best and a total lack of reality at worst. Although

it is true, each of us has different demands on our time. Some

have young families; some have multi-generational families;

some have no families but have others who claim our time. Some

work more than one job; some balance shifts in order to create

stability at home. No matter how many people or situations pull

on our bodies, research reports that most of us do not get enough

‘good’ sleep (i.e., REM sleep). How can you make the sleep you

do get more restful? Try making your room darker, perhaps by

installing special blinds. If you don’t have one, buy a timer and

set it to turn off your TV and lights after you fall asleep. Set your

furnace thermostat to a cooler temperature during sleep hours. Try

meditation or other techniques to prepare your mind and body for

a relaxed sleep. Make lists of things you have to do the next day or

next week, then prioritize the items or group them into categories

that will help you get them done in a timely manner. Grocery lists

and to-do lists are one way to organize your life and corral all of

those pressures that seem so ubitquitous and random. There is

something positive to say about gaining control over the things that

you can control.

3. De-stress – And just HOW do you do that? Today’s nurses face

unimaginable stressors: workplace, family, social. Although there

is not enough space to address all of these in this article, here is a

place to start:

a. Workplace: If you are faced with too many hours, ask yourself

if this is a pattern that you initiate (or encourage if you volunteer

often) or that is ‘urged’ by your employer. Are the hours planned

or overtime? If overtime, consider if the acuity or patient load

has changed. It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss

how to handle mandatory overtime and other workforce issues.

However, if your work site provides stressors that are becoming

a burden, talk with a counselor about options.

b. Family: Have the dynamics of those with whom you live or

spend time changed lately? Do you spend more or less time

together? Are you seeing different behaviors, such as acting out

or more anger or more reclusiveness? Have you altered how you

respond? Do you find yourself less ‘connected’ because you

do not interact F2F with other people? All of these possibilities

reflect the amount of stress that you endure. Think about

your coping behaviors: are they working adequately or are

you feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated? One way to

modify your situation is to flip your greatest concern or fear to

the opposite of what you are perceiving. If you see your position

as lacking control, assume that YOU are the person directing

your life and act accordingly. Put another way, do the opposite

of how you feel. Another option is to talk with others who are or

have been in similar situations. Ask them what they did to move

forward, to get un-stuck.

c. Social: If you think you are in a crisis, consider using an old

model from Aguilera and Messick. The proposed that a crisis

is like a 3-legged stool: if one of the legs is missing, a crisis is

created. The 3 legs are obtaining accurate information, having

necessary coping skills, and having a support system. The

beauty of this model is that it offers actions to take to reduce

the crisis. Do you need to get more information or verify the

information you have? Do you need to learn a new skill? Do you

need to get help? You often can de-fuse a situation quickly and

set a different course.


It is hard for many nurses to focus on ‘I’ when we are used to focusing

on ‘other.’ We may have to hunt for time or space in which we can take

time out or actually dote a little on ourselves. Do not consider it selfish;

consider it self-preserving. We are smart and caring and generous. Turn

some of that inward on a regular basis. Refill the humanitarian side of

our being so that we can grow and become the nurses we want to be.


Aguilera, D., & Messick, J.M. (1986). Crisis Intervention, Theory and

Methodology, 4th ed. St.

Louis, MO: CV Mosby.

Jeri A. Milstead, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

ANA Hall of Fame 2020

24 | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | www.ohnurses.org

www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | 25

The AFT Votes Bus delivered PPE to Healthcare Workers in Ohio. Highly sought after PPE was given directly

to our nurses in several locations throughout the state. Thank you, AFT!

26 | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | www.ohnurses.org

www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | 27

28 | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | www.ohnurses.org

www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | 29

O N A C O N V E N T I O N 2 0 2 1


CONVENTION: Tuesday, October 5th through Thursday, October 7th



30 | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | www.ohnurses.org

www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | 31

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