Notes from the Nursosphere: Blogging Ethics, Tar Ball Vacation, Treating the Whole Person

Here’s a few things that got our attention late this week:

Chronic Disease Expert: U.S. Health Care Needs to Treat the ‘Whole Person’: At Kaiser Health News, a Q & A with a Stanford University chronic disease expert (who started her health care career as a registered nurse) focuses on the fragmentation of our health care system. Here’s a sample:

Q. Could the health care system do a better job addressing chronic disease?

A. The system would probably need to be totally reorganized if it was really going to do that. Right now, it addresses diseases or even parts of diseases or small sub-parts of the body. It does not address the whole, complex person with multiple chronic diseases. So, right now, what happens, if you’re lucky, you go to a primary care doc who kind of does the day-to-day stuff and then you see four or five specialists each of which do their little specialty part — none of whom really talk to each other except maybe to look at your laboratory tests on an electronic medical record if you’re really lucky.

It is totally uncoordinated. It’s chaotic. It serves pieces of people, not whole people.

Mental Health Impact of BP Spill Multiplies: Feel depressed and hopeless about the Gulf Oil Spill? At Covering Health, an article sketches out some of the journalistic work being done to look at what some people have actually begun calling “Gulf Oil Syndrome.”

Speaking of the oil spill, Sean Dent, a nurse who blogs at My Strong Medicine, has a recent post called 

What Matters to Today’s Nursing Students?

By Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN, AJN interim editor-in-chief

I just came back from the NSNA (National Student Nurses Association) convention in Orlando. What a crowd!  There were over 3,500 attendees, mostly nursing students and some faculty. And contrary to what one usually thinks of students on spring break, this group was serious and focused. Some impressions I took away from the meeting:

  • I was impressed with the many people pursuing nursing as a second career. I incorrectly thought several people I met were faculty because they looked older than many of the attendees—they were nursing students.  One had been a marketing executive, one a financial executive (for over 20 years!), one a regional manager of a cosmetics company, another a stay-at-home mom for 10 years . . . not to mention a bank teller who had been a caregiver for a family member who was quadriplegic. They had professional resumes; plans A, B, and C for job hunting; and were focused and organized.
  • Missing in the exhibit hall were hospital nurse recruiters. But presidents and representatives of nursing organizations were there, wooing potential new members either via booths or focus sessions. And with 80% of nurses not belonging to any professional association (according to Rebecca  Patton, president of the American Nurses Association, in her remarks to the group), associations need to figure out what would make these future nurses join their ranks.
  • Finding a job was the hot topic. I spoke with […]
April 12th, 2010|students|1 Comment

Word Games? ANA Says We’ve Already Got a National Nurse; Others Disagree

By Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN, AJN interim editor-in-chief

On a new post at Homeland Voice, author Fiona Regina, MSN, RN, presents a rather critical discussion of the American Nurses Association’s opposition to the National Nurse initiative. She writes, “For heaven’s sake, it’s time for the ANA to get on board. The entire ANA organization would be better served by embracing motivated, politically active nurses willing to improve the health of our nation.” 

Regina offers several theories as to why the ANA might be taking the position (that is, aside from their stated reasons, one of which is that the U.S. Public Health Service already has a Chief Nursing Officer); what’s lacking in her piece, though, is any comment from the ANA to refute her charges or further elucidate their position. 

The ANA stance aside, the notion of a National Nurse keeps coming up and has support from many sectors. Diana Mason, AJN‘s editor-in-chief emeritus, argued for it here last September. More nurses should join the debate so that this issue can either move forward or be put to rest. What’s your opinion?
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March 18th, 2010|career, nursing perspective|28 Comments

Why Doesn’t the U.S. Have an Office of the National Nurse?

By Diana Mason, editor-in-chief emeritus

Ann Keen

First, the necessary throat-clearing about who and where: I recently attended a public session held by the Institute of Medicine Initiative on the Future of Nursing. Chaired by University of Miami president and former secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala and chief nurse for Cedar Sinai Medical Center Linda Burnes Bolton, the session began with presentations by two nurses involved in the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery in England: Ann Keen, Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Undersecretary for Health Services, who chairs the British commission; and Jane Salvage, the lead secretariat for the commission and a former contributing editor for AJN.

Now the point: During the formal session, Keen noted that various countries in the UK each have a chief nurse officer (CNO) who is responsible for developing a national nursing strategy. Afterwards, I interviewed Keen and Salvage, who both said they didn’t understand why American nurses were not supporting the call for a CNO for the United States, one who would be charged with developing and overseeing a national nursing strategy for this nation. In their eyes, a CNO who is on par with the surgeon general could help the nation to develop approaches to ensure an adequate nursing workforce, identify barriers to their full utilization, identify new models of care to better promote the health of the public, and develop strategies for removing the barriers that impede forward movement.

Opposition from nursing groups. In the U.S., organized nursing has largely opposed the efforts of a group of grassroots nurses who are calling for the establishment of an Office of the National Nurse. […]

September 21st, 2009|career, health care policy, nursing perspective|21 Comments