<If we ALL joined our voices together we would be heard loudly and clearly.....>
Oh so true. But since only about 10% of all RNs belong to their national professional association & less than that amount of LPNs belong to theirs, we're probably living in a fantasy world if we think we ALL will ever join our voices together anywhere. Just because there are separate national organizations for the different groups does not preclude them from working with each other together for the common good. We even can put differences aside with competing labor unions to work on issues like the national safe needles law. Being a separate entity to focus on just your own members needs is a good thing & doesnt stop both parties from joining their voices together on certain issues. Read the following and find out if your national association is getting involved & if not, tell them you want them to get involved (it would help if you were a member giving them orders!):
ANA Acts to Unite Nursing Profession Over Staffing Crisis, Emerging Shortage -
Washington, DC --In response to the current nurse staffing crisis and a massive nursing shortage expected to hit the U.S. by 2010, the American Nurses Association House of Delegates today overwhelmingly approved a plan to unite national nursing groups to develop an agenda that advocates changes in the work environment to increase retention efforts in the profession. Nearly 800 registered nurses have been gathered in Washington, DC, over the past week for annual meetings to address concerns regarding nursing and safe, quality patient care, as well as business of the ANA.
Nursing's Agenda to Shape the Future for the Profession and for Safe, Quality Care Delivery directly addresses the concerns of nurses nationwide who daily face such challenges as inadequate staffing and mandatory overtime. These practices not only endanger patient care but are driving nurses from the bedside, aggravating the emerging nursing shortage. ANA released a survey earlier this year that revealed that 75 percent of registered nurses believe the quality of care in their facilities has deteriorated in the past two years. Forty percent said they would not recommend the profession to friends or family.
"What does that mean for the next 10 or 20 years?" asked ANA President Mary Foley, MS, RN, who has led the House through its discussions during the past few days. Current projections forecast that the supply of registered nurses will no longer meet the demand for nursing services by 2010. This prediction is based on the fact that the average age of employed registered nurses is 43, enrollments in schools of nursing continue to decline, and the demand for nursing services will increase as a result of the aging of the U.S. population and the growing need for management of chronic illnesses and conditions.
"These factors, which point to a massive shortage, make it imperative that we be able to attract new nurses into the profession. WE CANNOT DO THAT UNTIL WORKING CONDITIONS ARE IMPROVED", ANA President, Mary Foley said.
Today's action by the House of Delegates directs the ANA to work with other nursing organizations to outline necessary changes within the work environment, the health care industry, nursing education programs and workforce diversity to promote accessible, quality health care delivery and to focus resources on the recruitment and retention of nurses in all roles and settings. To that end, the ANA is coordinating a four-day nursing summit this fall to address the critical issues of nurse staffing and the looming shortage. Representatives of approximately 100 national nursing and specialty organizations have been invited to meet Sept. 8-11 in the Washington, DC, area for a Call to the Nursing Profession, to develop a comprehensive, overarching plan to resolve current staffing concerns and to mitigate the emerging nursing shortage.
With 14 of the nation's largest nursing organizations serving as a steering committee, the summit will address the specific concerns of nurses across America related to insufficient staffing, current shortage pockets, and the impending national shortage. The summit will build upon previous work, including: Nursing's Agenda for Health Care Reform, developed by the ANA; the nursing shortage statement developed by the Tri-Council on Nursing (ANA, the National League for Nursing, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the American Organization of Nurse Executives); and a workforce model that describes the shortage from a systems perspective developed by the AONE. In addition, the summit will utilize work from the Nursing Practice and Education Consortium, 11 nursing organizations that developed a strategic plan around practice and education disconnects that are impacting the nursing workforce. The summit also will enable the nursing groups to identify and commit to the work necessary to implement Nursing's Agenda to Shape the Future.
"This national effort is critical as the country copes with a nurse staffing crisis and faces a nursing shortage of massive proportions," Foley said. "ANA believes that without sufficient nurse staffing and expert care delivery, patient safety is compromised and the overall quality of care in the United States is destined for deterioration. This situation constitutes a public health crisis and action must be taken immediately."