Nurses Take DC, EPS 197
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On episode 197 of RNFM Radio, Keith and Kevin rock the mic without Elizabeth; sad as they were, they soldiered on and had some fun without good ol’ Elizabeth. Don’tcha miss her when she’s not here? We sure do!
Nurses Take DC
This article over on MultiViews News Service really opens our eyes to the reality of the #NursesTakeDC rally planned for Washington, DC on May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Are you going? Here are some salient quotes from this great article:
With no formal billable services, nurses are often just seen as another business expense that needs to be mitigated in the delivery of patient care. Considering most of the tasks associated with nursing are not easily measured, their value is often misunderstood and undervalued by the business leaders who make the financial decisions in healthcare.
In 2004, the state of California enacted revolutionary minimal staffing ratios for nurses. They recognized a need to improve the critical situation that had been created during the 1990s when staff was reduced to increase financial gain.
California is still the only state that has mandated safe staffing ratios for acute care facilities. However, a grassroots movement, created by six staff nurses, is trying to change that nationally.
Follow the plans for the rally over on Twitter—@NursesTakeDC—and the hashtag, too: #NursesTakeDC.
Meanwhile, follow the rally on Facebook, as well!
And don’t forget, use your car as a billboard to talk about nursing, and visit the Show Me Your Stethoscope website! Did you know SMYS is now a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization? So proud of them!
This conversation led us to discuss why nursing services aren’t billable in hospitals; aren’t nurses the very lifeblood and mitochondria of healthcare? If so, our work could be billed and quantified, and perhaps we’d be much more valued than we are now.
One question remains for Keith: will the media cover the DC rally well? Will they give nurses their due? And based on that, will the public be educated and informed by this event so that we nurses have the citizenry behind us on these staffing and other issues?
Keith also raises the argument that safe staffing is important to address, but the nurse faculty shortage and the ADN/BSN issues also need to be addressed in order for this movement to be most effective. Does this nursing platform need more planks in its platform?
A question: Have you written your senator or member of Congress about how staffing issues impact your work as a nurse? Have you written a letter to the editor about staffing issues?
The ADN/BSN issue and the Nursing Faculty Shortage
Keith has been writing a great deal about the ADN/BSN issue. Some hospitals are closing their doors to ADNs entirely, and so many nurses are being left out in the cold. Don’t we need to subsidize the education of nurses who need a BSN? Can we really afford to leave them behind? And if nurses are going to spend their hard-earned money on a BSN but not earn more than when they had an ADN, what’s the incentive?
Meanwhile, the nursing faculty shortage continues to be an issue when it comes to educating nurses for the 21st century. If nursing faculty are one of the lowest paid faculty anywhere, why would anyone want to teach nursing?
Nursing is in the news and in a state of flux, and we’ll keep talking about the hot issues here on RNFM Radio. Thanks for being here with us, RNFM Radio Nation!
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My concern about fixed staffing ratios is that it can become a "us" versus "them" mentality. I hope more states adopt ratio regulation like we have in Illinois. Our Nurse Staffing by Acuity Act mandates that a committee of administrators and front line nurses, to which the committee must have more than 50% of its member be non-management staff, have a method of measuring patient acuity and developing the staffing plan accordingly. This act allows individual organizations to develop a plan that addresses their issues and concerns, instead of adding more mandates to follow (as in meeting fixed nurse to patient ratios). As professionals, we must work with the business leaders of health care to meet ours and patients needs as well as theirs.
In regards to the nursing shortage, this may resolve somewhat if we can keep our new nurses in the profession. Currently, many new nurses leave due to workloads and their concern for patient safety. Fix staffing ratios and you'll have a much more satisfied workforce that we can then grow.