By Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN, AJN interim editor-in-chief (sent yesterday from her Iphone)
So it’s Wednesday afternoon, June 16, and I’m here in Washington, DC, attending the 2010 House of Delegates meeting of the American Nurses Association (ANA). It’s easy to find the sessions—one just has to follow all the middle-aged women walking in one direction through the lobby (full disclosure: that includes me).
ANA president Rebecca Patton opened the session and announced that there would be a “special surprise guest.” She got about halfway through announcements about parliamentary procedure, using the electronic voting machines, and the other housekeeping details when I noticed a rather large muscular young man with an earpiece slip in the door near me. I noticed several clones of him at each exit. Our “special guest” had arrived.
Patton introduced President Barack Obama and he received a rock star welcome from the approximately 800 attendees. He said he came because he promised he would if nurses supported his campaign and he won the presidential election. He proclaimed, “I love nurses.” (I wonder: when he goes to other groups, does he say, “I love physicians” or “I love auto workers”?) He retold the story of how nurses took care of his wife and daughters when his daughters were born and how the nurses “got him through” when one of his daughters had meningitis and how they gave her such good care.
Obama then spoke about the changes in health care brought about by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act he signed into law in March. He left the stage and spent almost five minutes among the audience, shaking hands as he slowly made his way out. The Hulk clones quietly disappeared and Patton came back to conduct business.