Nursing Notes

October 7, 2009

Rethinking Nursing – Modern Healthcare

Here is another take on the upcoming Institutes of Medicine’s study to reform healthcare.  All of the working RN’s I know already know the answers to the questions put forth in this study.  We are over worked, under appreciated, and tired.  We daily struggle with people’s lives and the lives of their families.  We try to meet the demands of so many people in the course of a routine 8 hour shift, that we don’t have time to go to the bathroom or take a lunch break.

Nurses want to be able to nurse.  We are tired of doing paperwork, of defending ourselves from litigation for doing what we were trained to do.  We want to interact and support our patients in getting well.  We want to have the pleasure of actually getting to know our patients as people.  We want our patients to have confidence in our abilities and trust that we will advocate for them in this confusing system.  You cannot do this when you are caring for 8-9 patients that, by current studies, have been shown to be sicker and in need of more care.

Please visit this site and read the article in full; then make up your own mind about what you think nurses and nursing needs.  Then tell your elected officials what you think.


The IOM has convened a nursing initiative to draft a blueprint for nursing, but some say ‘corporate elites’ will only provide toothless recommendations

By Joe CarlsonPosted: July 20, 2009

A wave of reform legislation threatens to upend many certainties in healthcare, the industry’s largest single workforce—nursing—already finds itself at the cusp of significant change.

Today’s nurses sit in an uneasy state of tension on critical issues, such as: when to expand their scope of practice to meet primary-care needs, whether technology is actually freeing up more time for patient care, and how to train enough new nurses at appropriate educational levels.

Experts say those are some of the key issues that are likely to emerge when an Institute of Medicine commission begins an inquiry that organizers are billing as a ground-breaking study of the profession.

The Initiative on the Future of Nursing, funded by a $4 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is intended as a critical examination that could shatter existing conceptions of the field and lay out a blueprint for 21st century nursing. “They consider this a transformational opportunity, and they’d like a report that is transformational,” said study commission Chairwoman Donna Shalala, who was an HHS secretary in the Clinton administration and today is president of the University of Miami. “It could be like a torpedo, and cut right through the trees, and the forest, and give us a clear pathway if it’s successful.

”The commission held its inaugural meeting in Washington on July 14, two days before nursing took the national stage as President Barack Obama announced in a pro-reform news conference in the White House Rose Garden, “I should disclose right off the bat, I have a long-standing bias towards nurses.

“Due in fall 2010

Although the IOM commission’s official announcement was swathed in language referencing the ongoing reform efforts in Congress, organizers say that their report is not due out until fall 2010—well after the self-imposed deadlines for reform legislation. Organizers say they want the report to have its impact when providers and payers start scrambling toward the goals enshrined in whatever reform legislation becomes law. “We hope we will get legislation this year for health reform, but I think it’s inconceivable that that will be the last word for health reform,” IOM President Harvey Fineberg said.

Committee members include: Linda Burnes Bolton, chief nursing officer with 914-bed Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles; Jennie Chin Hansen, president of the AARP; C. Martin Harris, chief information officer of the 1,080-bed Cleveland Clinic; Robert Reischauer, president of the Urban Institute; and John Rowe, professor of health policy at Columbia University and former chairman and CEO of Aetna.

The effort already is not without critics. Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Dean Colleen Conway-Welch said nurses already know the answers to most of the questions posed by the group, but those solutions will never become reality until the other fractured healthcare constituencies, like physicians and specialty practitioners, also agree to changes. Labor leaders noted that the 16-member committee lacks a union representative or, for that matter, any member who is an active staff nurse besides a nurse-midwife who graduated with her degree in 2008 (See related editorial, p. 20).

Suzanne Gordon, author of more than half a dozen nursing books, including co-authorship of Safety in Numbers: Nurse-to-Patient Ratios and the Future of Health Care, said she expected no greater impact from this latest IOM commission than what happened after the institute’s 1996 report from its committee called the Adequacy of Nurse Staffing in Hospitals and Nursing Homes. “Like the other IOM report, the 1996 report on staffing, this one suffers from the same problem, which is that you have corporate elites doing the study, and you end up with a series of recommendations that are all voluntary,” Gordon said.>>>read more by clicking below

Click here to read the entire article: Rethinking Nursing – Modern Healthcare

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