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Monday, August 11, 2008

Medscape Poll Shows Resounding Support for Establishment of Office of the National Nurse

Medscape readers response to a poll that coincided with the article, "Nurses and the Public Say It's Time for Change" was overwhelmingly favorable. Here are the results to date:

Do you believe the United States should develop an Office of the National Nurse, similar to the Surgeon General?

78% (124)
12% (20)
10% (16)

We have also included a few of the dozens of comments posted:

From nursekaren08:

I agree with elevating the CNO to a full time position as the "National Nurse". It is apparent that change is desperately needed. The old way of doing things is not working, our healthcare system is inefficient and costly. Preventable disease rates are climbing, and costs have steadily climbed out of control. Adequate access to quality healthcare has become a luxury that many simply cannot afford. The National Nurse's role in promoting healthy behaviors and teaching prevention can significantly reduce American's dependence on "sick care". Kudos to the NNNO for taking a stand and advocating for patients!

From NurseLilyG

An enthusiastic YES!

Finally... an American health care initiative NOT about someone getting rich! It took a grassroots effort of nurses who care enough about the wellness of our country to finance their own way to Washington DC to engage legislators and others into seeing the benefits of a National Nurse. Prevention is where it's at! A nurse is the better choice to educate the public about prevention.

Prevention is rarely in a pill - as the pharmaceutical monopolies and their indoctrinated physicians would have us believe – it's a lifestyle. No special interest gets rich implementing this philosophy. But healthier individuals are more productive and happier – both key ingredients to creating a nation that will lead the world to a better place.

From Heidi Coleman RN:

Over the last several months, I have thought about a phrase that was once given during a lecture in nursing school. "Pain can be relieved, people can be comforted under your care, but a lifetime of suffering cannot be changed". The statement was encompassing the decisions people make about the future of their health, beyond their stay in the hospital. While this may have truth in today's healthcare system, there is possibility for a different future. I have seen countless healthcare professionals perform health education with patients in the acute care setting. I applaud them for doing this, but it seems as if sometimes the informatiion and guidance is too little, too late. This is an important time for everyone involved in healthcare to consider the bigger picture. What will happen to people if we do not make a conscious effort to improve health education standards? What will happen to people if we do not start encouraging more primary prevention efforts? We have to start somewhere. Opportunities to modify the efficacy of health education are arising. We can reduce suffering. We just need to start thinking about healthcare from other perspectives. One way that we can start is with the endorsement of the National Nurse.

From khundemer1:

The Office of National Nurse would serve as a visible symbol of the nearly 3 million nurses in the US who are delivering healthcare 24/7 in every community. Such a position would give credibility to the professional care that nurses provide to the public in every type of clinical or educational setting. This position would serve as a resource to the public, and make nurses be seen as collaborators in healthcare policy. The Office of National Nurse is critically needed to help meet the current healthcare needs as well as to plan for the future healthcare needs of all America

From bluediamond:

The Office of National Nurse provides a wonderful opportunity for ongoing, increased visibility of professional nursing. A focus on prevention, health education and early intervention can increase public awareness of what nurses continue to do, in all areas of health care, to promote a healthy nation. An ongoing positive image of professional nursing can attract more men and women to the profession. Nurses make such a positive difference. How wonderful it would be if we could be more proactive in health issues. This would be a tremendous boost.

From kindrascanlon:

We need forward-moving thinking at the national nurse level. Many programs are cutting budgets, Americans who simply don't know better are waiting until their health reaches a critical mass and utilizing emergency rooms for their healthcare, and obesity and chronic diseases need constant prevention promotion and education.

In addition, schools are packed with students wanting to become nurses; so much so that nursing schools turn away thousands of students. Hospitals see a shortage of nurses and schools cannot hire enough faculty.

The poll on this site shows how much support this initiative has. We need more focus on education, disease prevention and preventative care in this country. Otherwise, millions of our tax dollars will keep going towards emergency room visits, chronic preventable diseases and many other health-centric issues.

Why wouldn't we spend a small amount to make the CNO full-time in order to prevent disease, educate citizens and care for the healthcare of our nation?

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Monday, August 11, 2008  

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