The Florida Health Care Association today praised the Senate Health Policy Committee for approving legislation that would authorize nursing centers to free up skilled nurses to focus on higher-level caregiving by assigning routine medication distribution to a new professional category of Qualified Medication Aides. These aides, called QMAs, would undergo specific training to administer routine medications as ordered and perform other tasks under a nurse’s supervision. The bill, SB 558, is sponsored by Sen. Colleen Burton, the committee chair; its companion bill, HB 351, is sponsored by Rep. Will Robinson.
“Florida’s nursing centers are faced with a historic nursing workforce shortage, and we must prioritize polices that help ensure a pipeline of skilled caregivers to meet the needs of Florida’s aging seniors and people with disabilities,” said FHCA CEO Emmett Reed. “Too much of our nurses’ time and energy is spent on routine medication distribution, and this legislation would authorize other qualified health care professionals to handle that task so more highly-trained nurses can concentrate on their patients’ more complex needs. We thank Sen. Burton and the committee members for recognizing the value of Qualified Medication Aides and making this bill a priority.”