President Obama: Where Are the Nurses?

I was delighted to see President Obama nominate nurse Mary Wakefield to head up the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) (see my posting about this on  February 20th at  I was expecting him to understand the value of having the nursing perspective represented in meetings focused on health care reform. So I am quite disappointed to be told by colleagues that there will only be a token nurse at today’s Health Care Reform Summit. Lots of physicians and insurers are there, but only the president of the American Nurses Association will represent nursing. (While I expect that Wakefield will be there, she will not be there to represent nursing.) My message to the president and those he has charged to lead health care reform: You can’t reform health care without nurses. And nurses have a lot of solutions to our ailing health care system. For examples of these solutions, look at the American Academy of Nursing’s Raise the Voice Campaign.

–Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, Editor-in-Chief

2009-03-26T21:19:13+00:00 March 5th, 2009|career, health care policy, nursing perspective|2 Comments

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  1. jm March 30, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Beth, Thanks for your comment. We too hope that “the rise in popularity of social media” will draw more nurses of every type and every educational background into an engagement with larger policy issues. Who knows, blogs like yours ( and others may eventually constitute a kind of critical mass on the Web as nurses begin to find each other and find a voice in the larger culture. Jacob M., AJN senior editor

  2. Beth March 29, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Interesting…I watched the Health Care Reform Summit and had an opposite reaction. I was really happy to see Rebecca Patton there and found what she had to say compelling. But I was also very surprised to see no representation from doctors (at least on the part that was televised via C-SPAN.)

    I agree with you 100% that nurses’ input is essential to solving some of our health care problems. On the other hand I see a lot of apathy in the nursing profession and not much willingness to get involved. I’m hoping that the rise in popularity of social media will have the power to change this.

    And on that note – I’m so excited to see that AJN has a blog!

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