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Monday, October 26, 2015

“The View” From A Nurse’s Perspective

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Thank you NNNO Advocacy Team Member Anne Llewellyn RN-BC, MS, BHSA, CCM, CRRN who wrote the following for Nurse Advocate, a website dedicated to enabling patients, families and healthcare professionals to understand how to better navigate today's complex healthcare system.

"The Power of Nursing"

"I usually don't watch the Miss America Pageant, but this year I tuned in as I had heard that one of the contestants was a nurse and I wanted to see how she did. As I watched the show, nurse Kelley Johnson from Colorado went against tradition and instead of singing, dancing or playing an instrument for the talent segment, Kelley shared her talent as a nurse in a moving monologue. Kelley told a story about Joe, a patient she cared for in the hospital where she worked. She and Joe talked many nights as she spent time to calm him when he became agitated. Together they helped each other and realized how valuable each were. Joe helped Kelley realize that she was not 'just a nurse' but was his nurse and the one member of the team who took the time to help him deal with his disabling condition of Alzheimer's. It was touching and really showed the impact a nurse has on a patient's life. Every nurse could relate as it told 'our' story. If you have not seen the monologue, here is the link.

Ms. Colorado did not win the Ms. America contest but did come in third!

The next day, the hosts of The View discussed some of the highlights of the pageant. Leading The View's panel Michelle Collins signaled out Ms. Colorado for producing a monologue where she 'read her emails' and talked about a patient with Alzheimer's. They showed a photo of Ms. Colorado in her scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck. Joy Behar looking at the photo said why is Miss Colorado in that costume and why is she wearing a doctor's stethoscope?

Following the show, nurses from across the country took to social media to voice their disapproval. It was truly an unprecedented show of unity among nurses across all settings of healthcare system. As I read many of the hundreds of touching and funny posts that came across Facebook and Twitter, I was so proud to be a nurse and wondered how we as a profession would harness this show of unity and mobilize the country's 3.1 million nurses to address the challenges facing the U.S healthcare system. Then I recalled a national nursing organization that I am involved that would do just that!

The National Nursing Network Organization is leading an effort to pass federal legislation, The National Nurse Act of 2015 (H.R. 379 and S. 1205) to designate the same individual serving as the Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) of the U.S. Public Health Service as the National Nurse for Public Health.

As a national advocate for nursing actions to champion pubic health in all communities, The CNO/National Nurse for Public Health would assist in a nationwide shift from our current sick system to one that focuses on prevention in order to improve health outcomes. Important responsibilities include:

  • Collaborating with the Office of the Surgeon General to identify and address national health priorities;
  • Serve as a visible national spokesperson for engaging nurses in leadership, policy, and prevention efforts;
  • Encourage health professionals to work with community programs to improve health;
  • Increase public safety and emergency preparedness; and
  • Prepare and submit a biennial report to Congress on nurses serving in the U.S. Public Health Service.

The grassroots effort is all volunteer, led by the National Nursing Network Organization's Board of Directors and Advocacy Team, [http://nationalnurse.org/aboutUs.shtml] of which I am a member. Significant progress has been made but there is more work to do. That is why I am asking for your support.

Action Steps:

Every nurse and every family member of a nurse needs to contact their member of Congress to let them know that you support The National Nurse Act of 2015.

Read the bill-it is only two pages. Then visit the Take Action Page to locate information on how to contact your U.S. Representative and Senators.

If you have any questions or need assistance please email me!

Thank you in advance for your work and for supporting the National Nurse Act of 2015!"

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Monday, October 26, 2015  

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