Is there a nursing representative/lobbyist in washngton?? - page 3

by californiadreaming

6,952 Views | 24 Comments

I am in my final pre-req. and plan on applying to RN program this fall. I am male, single and making a career change. Why do nurses (non-union states) allow the poor work environment, no breaks, no lunch, etc. situation to... Read More


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    I'm in the same situation as you, californiadreaming. I'm a post bacc working on my prereq's, while also doing a lot of reading about the status of nursing in the US. After reading "Nursing Against the Odds," reading lots of posts on allnurses.com, and talking to nurses that I know, I'm fired up to do something to improve the status of the profession... I can hardly wait to get started, but I also feel a little bit lost. Where would I do it?

    The Center for Nursing Advocacy has some great resources on their website, but the organization is now defunct. Nursing unions address the important problems of working conditions and pay for nurses in specific hospitals or in specific states, but they don't seem to focus much other issues, specifically funding for nursing education (and nursing profs, which is what I hope to be one day!) including residency programs for new nurse graduates. The ANA looks like it is where I should be involved, I suppose.

    While I really hate to compare nursing to medicine, the AMA has a huge presence in federal, state, and local decisions about regulating and funding medical education and practice. Does the ANA have a similar reach? I get the impression that it still has many "oppurtunities for growth". I am committed to doing what I can now and especially once I'm practicing, but I don't feel like I'm being dismissive of anyone's dedication or rude by saying I'd like to see a more coordinated, powerful, and well funded national body lobbying for nurses and nurses' patients best interests.

    Nurses have been on the forefront for social change for women, soldiers, and other groups in the US. Given all of their amazing social history, I'm almost surprized that nurses aren't the most powerful lobby around when they are fighting for themselves.
    herring_RN, lindarn, and rabbitgirrl like this.
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    Quote from californiadreaming
    Thanks for all who responded. Let me clarify my post.

    I am changing careers. Even though I'm not a nurse, or even in NS, I feel I should have an idea of what other nurses are saying about their career choice.

    Needless to say, there are more negative comments than positive on this board . Now wait, don't toss me into the furnace yet.....is it not true there are some issues that could be/should be corrected? I have never heard anyone (in any field) working 12 hours without a meal or break. If this is typical, then there's a major problem that should be addressed.
    Try repeating after me;

    "Dear belabored working nurses,

    I'm really sorry that my post offended all of you hard-working nurses. I am beginning to understand that your patient advocacy at the bedside puts your jobs on the line most each and every day that you work, let alone trying to improve the working conditions for nursing in general. I promise to loose some of my wet-behind-the-ears thinking before I condescend your supposed lack of political ambition again. Yours Truely, Californiadreaming.
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    Quote from hopefullyanrnsoon
    the center for nursing advocacy has some great resources on their website, but the organization is now defunct.

    the center for nursing advocacy has transitioned into the truth about nursing
    mission statement
    the truth about nursing seeks to increase public understanding of the central, front-line role nurses play in modern health care. our focus is to promote more accurate, balanced and frequent media portrayals of nurses and increase the media's use of nurses as expert sources. the truth about nursing's ultimate goal is to foster growth in the size and diversity of the nursing profession at a time of critical shortage, strengthen nursing practice, teaching and research, and improve the health care system

    Quote from hopefullyanrnsoon

    while i really hate to compare nursing to medicine, the ama has a huge presence in federal, state, and local decisions about regulating and funding medical education and practice. does the ana have a similar reach? i get the impression that it still has many "oppurtunities for growth".

    both ama (medicine) and ana (nursing) are nationaly recognized as the professional organization representing each profession. their professional guidelines + code of ethics are recognized under federal law and are referenced to by state boards of medicine and nursing.

    about ama

    about ana discover your ana video


    basic historical review of nursing and the ana shows the growth of nursing and influence of the organization since founding in 1896.

    snipets of this timeline related to nursing + lobbying include

    1903
    the first bills concerning registration for nurses were enacted in north carolina, new york, new jersey, and virginia.

    1905


    the nurses' associated alumnae joined with great britain and germany to become the three charter members of the international council of nurses.

    1914


    ana established the central information bureau for legislation and information to supply data concerning the work of state boards of nurse examiners.

    1921
    ana organized a legislative section.

    1926


    a tentative code of ethics for nurses was adopted by the american nurses' association



    1934
    ana's house of delegates approved an eight-hour day for nurses and conducted a national campaign to promote better working hours.

    1938
    ana reported on its study of incomes and employment conditions of nurses. ana recommended a salary schedule for nurses comparable to those of other women workers, a 48-hour week for nurses practicing in institutions, and vacations with pay.

    1937

    the board of directors of the american nurses' association appointed a special committee for the purpose of considering the question of nurse membership in unions.

    1939
    ana adopted a policy favoring the licensure of all who nurse for hire.

    1944
    as a result of the action of ana's board of directors in june, 1944, the name and status of the clearing bureau on problems of state boards of nurse examiners was changed to the bureau of state boards of nurse examiners. one function of this body was to devise methods and procedures for bringing about desirable and reasonable uniformity in relation to standards, regulations, examinations, and records.

    1946
    the ana house of delegates endorsed the 8-hour day, 4o-hour week for all nurses and called for the elimination of discrimination against minority groups

    ana delegates adopted the first association platform.

    1949

    ana was accredited as an observer to the united nations.

    1950


    ana's house of delegates adopted an intergroup relations program to work for full integration of nurses of all racial groups in all aspects of nursing.
    ana adopted a code of ethics for professional nursing.

    1958
    ana's house of delegates endorsed health care as a right of all people and urged the extension of social security to include health insurance for beneficiaries of old age, survivors, and disability insurance.


    for the first time in the history of the ana, a liaison committee was formed with the american medical association
    ( which continues to this day..karen)

    1964
    congress passed the nurse training act of 1964, the first federal law to give comprehensive assistance for nursing education.

    1973
    standards of community health, maternal and child health, geriatric, and psychiatric and mental health nursing practice were published. in addition, a generic set of standards of nursing practice was published

    1977

    ana introduces health services bill to expand primary care services and encourages, where practicable in shortage areas, utilization of nurse practitioners in concert with physicians.

    1980


    ana played a major role in getting an amendment passed prohibiting hospitals from using medicare funds for anti-union activities. ...

    ....time line continues with listing of many legislative efforts

    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Apr 15, '09
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    Hey guys and girls, I just read the post by californiadreaming, and I'm not quite understanding why everyone attacked. Nursing is taken advantage of, they can't fight for their rights against insurance companies in the same way that the AMA does for doctors, and we do deserve more acknowledgement for our gifts of caring etc that we bring to health care. Yet who does watch our back? Especially with the new and expanded roles. If our legal representation and our lobbies aren't strong enough, the advanced practice nurses are going to be in bigger trouble than doctors have been. The simple truth is that a nurses nobility shouldn't be taken advantage of, and a suggestion from someone new coming in shouldn't make everyone crazy and defensive.
    I've been a nurse for a very long time, I've stood up, written books, and work long and hard everywhere so patients know what nurses do, yet we don't have the kind of power we deserve. And why? Because as I said on my own blog, 29 doctors in a hotel room chosen by the AMA and sworn to confidentiality, are the ones deciding the fees for doctors and other practitioners to be paid by Medicare and Medicaid. That's 60 billion dollars...and 29 doctors. No nurses. Yes, we should belong to our nursing organizations, and we should be politically aware and our nursing organizations should cover our back....and yes, also, change takes time. But I was saying just about the same things 30 years ago. Even more important, nurses don't "team" and they turn on each other too quickly. That is what weakens us because if we did stand together there are so many of us that we would have the power we deserve...to fight for ourselves and for our patients. But we have to be willing to see the truth, and not chew anyone up who disagrees with us or asks a question that could have been defended without attacking...Let's not let the business of Medicine or the science of medicine rob us of the Art of healing. That's what nurses are really good at. And that's what heals....
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jun 8, '11 : Reason: Personal website to be listed in profile per TOS
    lindarn likes this.
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    Teamwork needs to be taught in nursing school. Learning to work together, enhance each others' work, joining together in practice groups, like doctors' do. And lawyers.

    Nursing needs to come together in our own specialties, incorporate, and sell our practice to the hospitals and nuring homes. Have our own corporate attorney to watch our backs. But more importantly, become one as a profession.


    This is not taught in nursing school. From what I have read on the listserve, it is dog eat dog, to get into nursing school, get through nursing school, and now, finding our first jobs.

    Nursing needs to emulate other health care professsion, like MDs, PT, OT, who meet each other in school, before school, in residencies, etc. They get to know each other, strengths and weaknesses, and after they are done with their training, they come together, and form practices together.

    I worked with several interns and residents, who, one by one, moved out of state, to the same state, and are now one large medical practice in Monana.

    Nursing could incorporate in ER groups, like ER docs, ICU groups, med surge groups, OR groups, etc.
    Each our own practice group. But again, this is not taught in nursing school. PTs, OTs all learn how to open their own practices after graduation and residency. Nursing also needs to have a mandatory 6 month to one year residency, after graduation, so new grads are not thrown to the wolves.

    Again, this is stuff and mentality, that needs to be taught in nursing school.

    JMHO and my NY $0.02.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Somewhere in the PACNW


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