2021 Year In Review
A Conversation with OAAPN President, Kelly Shank

Kelly Shank

We sat down with OAAPN President, Kelly Shank, to discuss a few of the highlights of 2021 and reflects on her goals for OAAPN in 2022.

What do you see as some of the highlights from 2021, both for APRNs as a profession and OAAPN as an organization? 

Despite the pandemic, 2021 was a busy year for OAAPN. While we started out the year in virtual meetings, we were quickly able to resume in-person chapter meetings and hosted a scaled-back Statewide Conference. We introduced HB177 in March and it was assigned to the House Health Committee. We supported HB221 which has been passed and will allow APRNs to provide telehealth services. We supported HB138, which will allow EMS to take a DNR order from an APRN. 

As a board, we were able to hold a planning retreat and began our Strategic Plan. We will finalize this soon and will share it with our members. We hired a new lobbyist firm and are working with them on present and future legislation. Our legal counsel continues to monitor legal issues that affect APRNs and answer member questions submitted to our office. We also continue to work with insurances and Medicaid on reimbursement issues pertinent to APRNs. 

What were some of the major initiatives for OAAPN in 2021, and where do they stand heading into 2022?

We will continue to monitor legislation that affects APRN practice and fight for equitable reimbursement. We are working on new legislation and will have updates soon. We are planning for at least two in-person conferences; the Northwest Ohio Spring Conference on March 11th at Bowling Green State University and our annual Statewide Conference in Columbus October 2022. 

Are there any major issues for the profession or the organization that you foresee in 2022? 

Staff burnout and staffing issues will continue to be an issue early into 2022. Hopefully, we can put COVID behind us this year.

Overall the state of APRN in 2021 and heading into 2022 is… 

Exhausted, frustrated, and yet hopeful and dedicated. 

Any updates on House Bill 221, The Enact Better Access, Better Care Act?

This bill remains in the House Health Committee. Due to COVID legislation, budget, and other reasons we were not able to gain the traction and momentum we were hoping for this year. However, our Government Relations Committee and our lobbyists are working hard and will have an announcement regarding legislation to remove the Standard Care Agreement early this year. 

Do you have any personal goals for 2022 in relation to your work with OAAPN?

My goals this year are to engage our members on our board committees. Look for information about each committee and its goals this year. We really want APRNs to have the ability to work on the issues that affect APRNs in Ohio. We have a committee for you whether you are interested in legislation, reimbursement, fundraising, education, philanthropy, marketing and communication, conference planning, membership, or helping at our chapter levels.

What can OAAPN members look forward to in the next year?

Hopefully, we can all look forward to a healthier, happier 2022! OAAPN is working on many projects so you will see information about conferences, legislation, reimbursement wins, and new opportunities for education. Members can look forward to getting more involved with the board’s projects and attending local chapter meetings.