Attention Daily Kos readers
-- to read the Office of the National Nurse initiative in its entirety, please visit http://nationalnurse.org
Take a look at the Endorsement and FAQ links on the Home Page as well. Thank you.
Comments made by President Barack Obama during his inaugural address have emphasized that community activism and local volunteerism will be key to confronting many of the issues facing our nation. His statements indicate we will all have to pitch in and do our part. This is why having an Office of the National Nurse will be so important, because if history is any indication, nurses will be among the first in line.
Proof that nurses volunteer and they enjoy doing it comes from a recent article published in the St Louis Post Dispatch
Other area hospitals help keep nurses happy by recruiting volunteers — unpaid nurses with current licenses who provide an extra set of eyes, ears and hands to the nurses on staff.
St. John's Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur was one of the first in the country to give nurse volunteers responsibilities, including taking patient histories, changing bandages, checking vital signs and giving baths to patients. The volunteers don't take physicians' orders or dispense medicine.
Some of the volunteers are retired nurses, but others already have jobs and volunteer for the opportunity to give extra patient care.
Kim Lindley volunteers once a week through a program at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center, the same hospital where she started her career in the 1980s. She also works part time at St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield, and she says volunteering keeps her happy.
"I get to do the fun parts of nursing, the parts you don't have time for (at a paying job)," she said. "It's more rewarding when it's from the heart and not the paycheck."
The Office of the National Nurse (ONN) will be able to suggest and sanction volunteer efforts by nurses. Guidance provided by the ONN will unite available nurses in every community to become involved. Nurses, functioning within their own practice setting, or within existing community service organizations, such as the Medical Reserve Corps, will be able to make many contributions to promote prevention immediately. Whether at the level of individuals and families, or at the school and community level, or across networks and systems, nurses are able to promote change for better health outcomes. The National Nurse, a strong public health career professional identified as the chief nurse of the nation, will be an excellent source of leadership on this important journey.
The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Monday, February 02, 2009