The Official Publication of the Ohio Nurses Association www.ohnurses.org
Volume 95, Issue 4
www.ohnurses.org | Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 |
OHIO NURSES Review
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Copyright © 2020 by Ohio Nurses Association.
ONA BOARD OF DIRECTORS – 2019-2021
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
ECONOMIC & GENERAL WELFARE COMMISSIONERS
Jessie Frymyer, Chair
Robert Weitzel, Co-Chair
Iris Marcentile, Secretary
| Ohio Nurses Review | Volume 95, Issue 4 | www.ohnurses.org
COUNCIL ON PRACTICE
Kris Cope, DNP, RN, NE-BC,
Sharon Hawkins, MPA, MSN/ed,
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,
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
Carolyn Carmack, Labor
Bob Cousins, DEO of Labor
Alex Gehrisch, Membership
Dennis Dugan, Labor
Jessica Dzubak, Director of
Dodie Dowden, Assistant to CEO
Molly Homan, Director of
Communications and Marketing
James Humphreys, Organizer
HEALTH POLICY COUNCIL
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,
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
Robin Smith, Membership
Sandy Swearingen, Continuing
Brittany Turner, Nurse Planner
Lisa Walker, Health Policy and
Nursing Practice Specialist
Rachel Wolfe, Assistant to DEO,
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,
CEO’s Message................................................. 4
2020 Year in Review
Health Policy Council............................. 6
Caucus on Advancing Nursing
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
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
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
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 |
YEAR IN REVIEW 2020
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
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 |
YEAR IN REVIEW 2020
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
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
YEAR IN REVIEW 2020
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,
BSN, RN, CPAN Rick Lucas, RN, BSN, OCN, VA-BC, CCRN
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 |
YEAR IN REVIEW 2020
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.
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
YEAR IN REVIEW 2020
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
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
YEAR IN REVIEW 2020
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
Kristine Cope, DNP, RN, NE-BC Sharon Hawkins MPA, MSN/
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
Full Rate: $1.65
First Year Rate: $.83
Retired Rate: $.42
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 firstname.lastname@example.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/
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
- 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
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
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
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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!
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O N A C O N V E N T I O N 2 0 2 1
CORNELIUS CONFERENCE & LEADERSHIP INDUCTION DINNER: Monday, October 4th
CONVENTION: Tuesday, October 5th through Thursday, October 7th
HYATT REGENCY | COLUMBUS
IMPORTANT DEADLINES AND DATES*:
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