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Thursday, May 29, 2008

What's In It For You?

Pictured in front of Vermont's state capitol, Carol Ringring, RN of 41 years

The campaign for an Office of the National Nurse has intensified, and every day we receive new emails and read comments on various websites in strong support of establishing this position. The Board of Directors of the National Nursing Network Organization wanted to share a part of one of these letters with you.

What's In It For You?

This was part of a description of what it was like for a nurse of 41 years to testify before the Health Committee in Vermont in support of JRH052, a resolution urging Congress adopt legislation to establish an Office of the National Nurse. This resolution went on to pass in both the Vermont State House and the Vermont State Senate.

"In dealing with the medical staff for all those years of practice at the hospital where I worked, I learned you could grab their attention if you spelled it out in a "what's in it for you" framework. So that's the approach I took with my testimony.

After introducing myself, I told them I'd be talking from my experiences from 41 years as a RN and talking from the heart. For instance, I mentioned that when I first entered the profession all those years ago, we saw gall bladder disease in (usually) middle-aged, slightly affluent individuals. When I retired, it was not uncommon to see upper teens and the twenty-something crowd with the disease. Of course, there are other factors, but one of the main ones is the nutritional choices we make over time. I thought I almost heard a collective gasp when they realized what I'd said.

Nursing recruitment is another arena in which a National Nurse could make a difference. Then to make it personal, I added, G__ forbid, you wake up tomorrow morning with a crushing chest pain. You want to go to the ED for immediate treatment. Once stabilized, you'll be transferred to Coronary Care. In your journey, you want competent, educated nurses caring for you who understand your needs and can use the technology that is available to them. While your doctor may see you for 10 minutes once or twice daily, the nurse will be with you for 24 hours a day. The nurse will monitor your symptoms and note any subtle changes. The nurse will be your advocate between you, your physician, and your health team. the nurse will know how to use advanced technology in your care. And the nurse will be there to relieve your anxieties and comfort you and your family when those needs arise.

As teachers have gained a public awareness of the importance of what they do, so nursing needs to find a similar voice.

A National Nurse can raise that public awareness."

Congratulations to June in Vermont who brought the Office of the National Nurse initiative to the attention of her state lawmakers, and to Carol Ringring RN and Debbie Orre MSN, RN (EdD candidate) who went to the hearing to testify in support. Your voices make a difference.

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Thursday, May 29, 2008  

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