Takeaways from 2014 ANA Membership Assembly

Pamela Cipriano, incoming ANA president Pamela Cipriano, incoming ANA president

By Maureen Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief

So far, so good

In June, the American Nurses Association (ANA) convened its second membership assembly, which included representatives of constituent and state nurses associations, individual members groups and affiliated entities, plus the board of directors. (This is the structure that replaced the House of Delegates as the official governing body of the ANA, when ANA restructured in 2012. See our 2012 report on the restructuring.)

The assembly was preceded by ANA’s annual Lobby Day on June 12th, in which nurses visited legislators on Capitol Hill to talk up legislation important to nursing, like bills on staffing, safe patient handling, and one that would remove barriers to efficient home care services.

This membership assembly was subdued—perhaps a gift for Karen Daley, the outgoing two-term president who shepherded the organization through a turbulent period of change. There were no contentious resolutions to deal with this time—there were only three issues brought to the group through dialogue forums, to develop recommendations for the board of directors:

  • scope of practice (full practice authority for all RNs)
  • integrating palliative care into health care delivery
  • promoting interprofessional health care teams

While the scope of practice topic was ostensibly promoting full practice for ALL RNs, most of the […]

June 23rd, 2014|career, nursing perspective|0 Comments

Nursing Blogs Roundup: Some Veteran Voices and Some Lively New Ones

By Jacob Molyneux, senior editor/blog editor

Blogging - What Jolly Fun/Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com, via Flickr Creative Commons Blogging – What Jolly Fun!/Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com, via Flickr Creative Commons

Here are some new or newish posts of note on various nursing blogs:

At Nursetopia: “You Get What You Put In To Your Nursing Association.”

At Nursing Stories: “Memories of MICU,” a post about visiting a new state-of-the-art medical intensive care unit (MICU) and comparing it to one the author worked on in the 1970s.

At the American Nurses Association (ANA) blog called One Strong Voice: “Working With a New Graduate or Novice RN? If So, Be Mindful of Workplace Bullying.”

Episode six is now up at The Adventures of Nurse Niki, a newish blog written by Julianna Paradisi (her other blog is JParadisi RN). This blog is made up entirely of first-person episodes told by a fictional nurse named Niki. Each episode is short, detailed, and engaging, and it’s easy to keep up with it on a regular basis, or quickly […]

Something Like Grace

By Marcy Phipps, RN, a regular contributor to this blog. Her essay “The Love Song of Frank” was published in the May (2012) issue of AJN.

ViewFromPlaneWindowMark was in town to be the best man in an old friend’s wedding—on a vacation, of sorts—when the unthinkable happened and he was involved in a horrendous traffic accident. He was ejected from his rental car. His injuries were severe and life threatening.

Mark’s family was halfway across the country. Getting to Mark quickly seemed impossible. But this is where the story takes a turn:

Mark’s family found a flight leaving that morning from their local airport, with the exact number of available seats that they needed. As they bought the tickets, they explained the nature of their emergency. They got to the airport in the nick of time. While checking in, they were approached by an airline employee who asked if they’d already arranged a rental car. They told him that they hadn’t—they hadn’t even stopped to get their clothes.

They didn’t know it at the time, but the employee who’d approached them was the pilot of the plane. He’d learned of the family emergency and held the plane for them. He knew how serious Mark’s accident had been, as he’d happened to drive right past the accident scene on his way to the airport before the first leg of the flight.

When the plane landed, the pilot requested that Mark’s family […]

Behind Our Ambivalence About Flu Vaccines

By Amy M. Collins, editor

Influenza virus particle/CDC

Tis the season to start thinking about getting the flu vaccination. Every year I consider doing so, but due to my own personal vaccine angst I usually decide to just take my chances (while simultaneously lecturing elderly family members to make sure they get theirs, of course).  Working in Manhattan, with the vaccine available at most pharmacies and even vaccine access through work, gives me very little reason to forgo vaccination. And my theory that I am young and strong and can brave illness gets weaker as I pass the point of being able to comfortably claim youth. Riding the subway every day amid a festival of germs reminds me that I should know better.

The vaccine has caused a stir over the past few years: during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, people worried about whether or not to get the new combined vaccine, and the question of mandatory vaccination for health care workers remains a hot topic even now.

But a new report, The Compelling Need For Game-Changing Influenza Vaccines, released by scientists at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, suggests that the flu vaccine may not be as effective as it is touted to be. According to the report, influenza vaccinations provide only modest protection for healthy young and middle-aged adults, and little if any protection for those 65 and older—those who are […]

November 9th, 2012|Nursing|3 Comments

Nurse Staffing: Are the Brits on the Right Track?

By Maureen Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief

hazard/jasleen kaur, via Flickr

According to an article at Nursing Times, hospitals in England may be required to publish “nurse-to-bed” ratios as part of an overall “dashboard” of indicators to measure  performance. While some say this is a step forward, UNISON, the public service union that represents nurses, argues that the better ratio to measure is nurse-to-patient and that variables in patient acuity should also be considered.

Nurse staffing has become an issue in National Health Service hospitals and in April UNISON released results of a survey of over 1,500 nurses and other health care workers about their shifts during the 24-hour period of March 6. The vast majority of respondents (73%) felt they did not have “enough time to spend with patients to deliver dignified, safe, compassionate care.” The Royal College of Nursing also supports mandatory safe-staffing ratios that take into account the skill mix of RNs to “health care support workers” or nursing assistants. 

Here in the United States, California is the only state to achieve any legislation for mandatory hospital staffing and it is a “minimum” nurse-to-patient ratio. While similar legislation has been introduced in a few other states and nationally, it hasn’t advanced.

The ANA does not support mandatory minimum ratios per se, noting in its Principles for Nurse Staffing (2nd edition), released earlier this […]

June 26th, 2012|Nursing|55 Comments