AAOHN Reveals New Policy Priorities for 2006

Hazard preparedness, health promotion and wellness and workplace violence prevention are just some of the major policy priorities of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) for 2006, according to its public policy platform released on Feb. 14.

This year's public policy platform carries over the major policy priorities identified in 2005, such as improving the quality of the work environment, and includes a number of enhancements that recognizes the changing roles of occupational and environmental health nurses.

"In developing this year's public policy platform, AAOHN received input from state legislative coordinators and other AAOHN advocates who work at the grassroots level as well as input from the general membership," said Susan Randolph, president of AAOHN.

Refinements that were made to last year's priorities include adding examples and broadening of the language in a couple of the sections of the policy platform. Such enhancements were made to reflect the evolution of key issues in occupational and environmental health nursing, and to ensure that public policy was consistent with the organization's goals, according to a statement released by AAOHN.

Pandemic influenza was added to the examples of hazards for which occupational health nurses are trained to treat. The organization has also referenced the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, addressing the basic tenets and confidentiality obligations of the profession. In addition, the nurse licensure compact a model in which multiple states enter a compact that recognizes a nurse's license addresses healthcare in general, as well as the delivery of occupation and environmental programs and services.

In regards to workplace violence prevention, current association activities as well as potential legislative and regulatory workplace violence prevention activities have been addressed. Such activities have been directed to new target audiences such as businesses, communities and health care professionals.

The AAOHN 2006 public policy platform is available at www.aaohn.org/public_policy.

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