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Monday, May 23, 2011

Overwhelmingly Nurses Desire Further Involvement in Preventing Non-Communicable Diseases

Just released this week, a new International Council of Nurses survey of nurses from eight countries reveals "Nurses want to lead in the global fight against the further spread of non-communicable diseases" and "ninety-five percent of the 1600 nurses polled across eight countries want to use their skills and time to educate individuals about the threat and prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)".

“Nurses, in numbers exceeding 13 million worldwide, are the front-line answer to tackling NCDs,” said David Benton, chief executive officer of ICN, in a news release. “They want to enable individuals and communities to enhance their wellness." The article goes on to stress that excessive workloads result in nurses being overloaded and unfortunately, "if they are, then they cannot take the time to counsel and educate, and that is clearly counterproductive."

Benton continues, “With the globally escalating problems of NCD mortality and morbidity and soaring costs, governments around the world should not miss the opportunity to capitalize on the enthusiasm and expertise that nurses can bring to addressing this global health crisis. We must provide maximum support to nurses so we unleash their power to fight these debilitating and deadly diseases.”

• Nurses think that, overall, governments are doing a good job in beginning to address the NCD global crisis, with 85% giving favorable responses in the survey. But they also believe that, with the right support, nurses can make a major difference in NCD prevention.

• More than half of the nurses surveyed believe they can have a great deal of influence on individuals and communities to take the necessary steps to reduce the likelihood of developing NCDs.

• Respondents identified government (71%), nursing associations (65%) and media (68%) as the top groups that can offer further support, information and training to nurses so they can better address NCDs.

“Nurses are the healthcare professionals closest to patients, and they are sending us a clear message: If nurses get the resources and time they need, they can arm people with the knowledge to help them make the critical lifestyle changes that will ultimately help combat the NCD crisis and improve global health,” Paula DeCola, RN, MSc., Pfizer External Medical Affairs, said in a release.

Because there is no immediate solution to the growing workload burdens of most nurses, engaging those nurses, students and active retirees who can and will get involved makes good sense. HR 1119 The National Nurse Act of 2011 would be a simple and cost effective start toward engaging more nurses in community prevention efforts under the guidance of the National Nurse for Public Health. It seems so logical-why not try it?

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Monday, May 23, 2011  

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