ANA Nursing Shortage Summit: A Call to the Nursing Profession Sept 9-11th; Wash DC

  1. 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," 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."
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  3. by   Jenny P
    Back in 1994 (I think) ANA published a paper on Nursings' Agenda for Health Care Reform. It fortold this whole mess that we are currently in. It pointed out that there would be rising health care costs with less nurses available to give the care unless federal funding increased for nursing education and retention.
    In 1999, Minnesota Nurses Association published a research paper on "Will Care Be There?" and tried to get it out to the public through the media. It stated that we were on the brink of a shortage that was unlike any we have ever seen in nursing before. (Go to and read the article "Will care be there?" if you are interested). (This current nursing shortage is very different from any other shortage in the past; and one of the things that you should know about past nursing shortages is that they were always "fixed" by something outside nursing-- the government stepped in and created the LPN and AD programs to alleviate shortages caused by the world wars. That is why there are so many different entry levels into nursing).
    These are only 2 of the many, many articles and papers and press releases that have been put out through ANA and its state associations over the past 10 years addressing the deteriorating health care climate.
    The reason that I think we are in this shortage is that: 1.) the public didn't care to hear our grim predictions; 2.) we, as nurses, didn't care to be involved in the bigger picture of nursing and health care for the whole society; 3.) we were all complacent-- (I get my 2 or 3% yearly raise, do my work, go home and get on with life); 4.) We allowed ourselves to be stretched beyond our limits in the "workplace re-designs" that kept happening; and, because of that, 5.) we lost respect from the public, our colleagues in health care and also our own self respect.
    Now we are all up against the wall and across the country we are fighting mad. We are not going to take it anymore (whatever "IT" may be), and we have people who decide to attack the one organization that has worked for many years to advance nursing in any way possible.
    Maybe you need to get off the attack and start being involved in something to build nursing up, Wildtime. You have so much anger towards an association you don't and have never belonged to. I (and so many others who come here to exchange ideas and information) have worked in this organization to build up nursing to try to make it a viable career for ourselves and future nurses. Direct all of your passion towards something that makes a positive difference in nursing instead of ripping apart something you obviously don't know beans about.
  4. by   -jt
    <the use of unlisensed personnel trained by us which the ANA approves of and is already happening in Hawaii. >

    Absolutely! This as opposed to the REGISTERED care technicians which the American MEDICAL Association propsed to alleviate the crisis. You make it sound like having nurse assistants is a bad thing. Its not - we need them. Of course I want a NURSING educator to train the NURSING assistants that I will be responsible for. The MDs wanted REGISTERED technicians that THEY trained, that THEY decided what the responsiblities & capabilities would be. RCTs would haven taken orders from & answer to THE MD but WE would be responsible for everything they did every minute of the work day. Sorry but if my license is going to be on the line, I want the control of who is working under it. I do not want some MD coming in & saying "here is your RCT. I know you know nothing about him, have no idea what he is trained to do, or how he has been prepared for this job but just trust me on this. Oh btw, he'll be working under YOUR license, not mine."
    I am not handing my license to some MD just because he'd rather not hire more nurses if he can get away with a cheaper version that is also REGISTERED. Those REGISTERED care technicians would get a little too close to taking the place of an RN. THATS why the ANA successfully killed the AMA's proposal. We need UAPs in the workplace. There is nothing wrong with saying that. But we also need to have a say in the work they do. You keep griping about UAPs working in hospitals & having been trained by us. Well there is a place for that category of much-needed nursing assistant & damn straight, I want them trained by NURSES.
  5. by   -jt
    <These are the same nurses with all the experience which have gotten fed up with the leadership and ANA >

    a little perspective -

    the hundreds of STAFF NURSE members applauding that ANA leadership with standing ovation after standing ovation in DC this week didnt exactly give the impression that they were fed up at all. And, being members, they sure know better than you what that leadership is doing for them. If you have a problem with your working conditions & pay in your state, I suggest you contact your state association & push to do something about that. Also, you might see some results if you mobilized the other nurses in your state to get active in doing something about it, too. Youre at the wrong dept if youre blaming your local salaries on the ANA in DC. Nurses are not leaving the bedside because they dont like the ANA. Theyre leaving the bedside because they dont like the conditions managment has put them in.
  6. by   natalie
    "This is what I have a problem with and the ANA stance that this is ok. At least they must be ok with it because I have not seen an out cry against this."

    Wildtime, do you see the problem with the above statement you made? I'm sorry to say your postings are extremely skewed through bias and are not reliable.

    Null and void.
  7. by   Jenny P
    Wildtime, why is everything wrong in nursing ANA's fault? The article you quoted says that Hawaii's DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH loosened the restrictions; not the ANA. I don't want to give up the parts of nursing practice that are the core of nursing. If I should have to give up parts of my nursing practice, I want it to be something that isn't part of the essential core. I have found that over the years nurses have given up pieces that are essential: I have seen monitor techs who read rhythm strips and post them in charts and the RN doesn't even look at them (I feel that as the RN caring for tha patient, it is necessary to see and sign off those rhythm strips also); or critical care techs who draw labs and pull femoral sheaths and sign off on these tasks without the RNs direction; and this past week at the ANA convention I was told by fellow nurses about LPNs drawing up IV Versed under the MD's direction WHILE THE RN IS CLEANING THE UNDERCARRIAGE OF THE BEDS!!!!!
    Now, I'm sorry, but in each of these practice settings, the ANA was not there overlooking and overseeing and agreeing to these skewed ideas of proper nursing care. It was those individual RNs who are at fault. Just as ANA was not responsible for the health assistant in Hawaii learning to give immunization injections. IF there will be someone who will be working under MY LICENSE, I WILL be the one to TEACH them WHAT I want them to do, HOW I want them to do it, and WHEN I want them to do it.
    And I will DELEGATE and SUPERVISE their duties appropriately (oh, yeah, that is another thing that ANA and MNA have great position papers and educational information on, in case you are interested) so that my license is not at risk.
    As far as the silence being a form of approval, how can it be a form of approval if ANA does not know of the situation? After all, as you keep reminding us, we are just 7% of the nurses across this country; we don't know everything, but we do try to change things in our own workplaces. Your logic is pretty muddy on this one.
  8. by   Jenny P
    Wildtime, who is going to be your assistant? Someone you train and delegate and supervise, or Joe Blow who you don't know what they were taught to do and who doesn't follow your directions and manages to put your license on the line every time you work with them? Which would you pick?
    I'm in charge of what happens under my license; and I will NOT delegate nursing skills and assessments to non-licensed personnel.
    Concerning the ANA, they HAVE been there and have been trying to avoid this crisis for years; but too many people have chosen to put their heads in the sand and ignore the problems the ANA has been predicting for the past 5- 10 years.
    And, according to you, it is all ANA's fault that this has happened. ANA is the reason that nursing is in a crisis right now. It's ANA's fault that there is a shortage of nurses. It's ANA's fault that there is mandatory overtime. Let's see, what else can we blame on ANA? Crime in the streets? The stock market crash? How about if we blame the energy shortage in California this past spring on ANA also?
    Come on, Wildtime, you are getting ridiculous here. I don't want to play these stupid games with you. If you have something constructive to say about nursing, say it. You obviously don't like ANA and enjoy running it down; but since you've never been a member of it and have decided to do only negative postings here and only quote things out of context or from biased sites; you really are becoming tedious again.
    You used to post some imaginative ideas. What happened? Give us some new thoughts and ideas again.
  9. by   -jt
    >This is what I have a problem with and the ANA stance that this is ok. At least they must be ok with it because I have not seen an out cry against this.>

    As usual you present as fact what is merely your own assumption.
    And you know what they say about when you ASSUME. Instead of researching & getting FACTS before you posting your diatribes, you just ASSUME your own angry perceptions are fact. What makes you think the ANA is silent on the issue of UAPS replacing RNs? Because you arent involved to see what is happening? Because you havent read anything on it? Because you dont know what is going on in your state legislature or any other state legsilature or at the federal level in DC regarding this?

    Well, for your information,The ANA and state associations have a lot to say on this issue & are pressuring their respective legislatures to pass laws that end this trend instead of wasting time just fighting it out with individual hospital administrators. You dont seem to know alot of what is going on out there. So either you are not an ANA member or just dont bother reading anything on these issues, and in this case, probably dont live in Hawaii and are not involved with the efforts of the Hawaii State Nurses Assoc. (ANA member) to combat their Dept of Health's decision.

    The ANA has not been silent on the issue of expanding responsibilities of UAPs. It seems you just cant be bothered to find out the info before posting inaccuracies & your own biased ASSUMPTIONS. Why should Natalie have to waste her time trying to "prove" you wrong? The info you need is all right at your fingertips. Read a little. I for one am tired of spoonfeeding you. Exert yourself a bit & look up what the ANA has really had to say about the use of UAPs - if it even matters to you - but I doubt you are really interested. On the off chance that you are, you might even really break a sweat & check out the legislation ANA is pushing that addresses this issue.

    The 93% of nurses you keep referring to did not REFUSE to join the ANA. Some of them just cant be bothered, some dont join anything, some dont do anything at all to stand up for themselves, & some have state associations that give us all a bad name & purposefully keep staff nurses away. But you just ASSUME that RNs dont join because they must be silently protesting. Well, that surely would be out of character for the mass majority of nurses because too many nurses dont protest ANYTHING & thats why we are in this mess to begin with, so I doubt the reason for their lack of becoming involved is what you ASSUME it is.

    But dont worry about it. The rest of us who are active are making a difference for ALL of them. As are other pro-active nurses everywhere - not just in the ANA. Its really quite extraordinary when you consider all that just 7% of the nursing population has been able to accomplish in just the past 2 yrs alone! What have you done?
  10. by   -jt
    <I can only hope that your hospital jumps on this band wagon and starts filling nursing vacancies with these individuals as well as paramedics and medical assistants.>

    Our hospitals cant do that. We have contracts with language that prevents RN posititions from being converted to any other category. Its standard & a non-negotiable item. So whether they are vacant, filled, or frozen, they remain RN positions & must be filled only with RNs. In addition, a f/t time RN position cant even be converted to 2 part time slots without our discussion & approval first. Once again, your doomsday predictions cannot happen to us. Have you done anything about getting the same kind of job protection for nurses in your own state?

    FYI, nursing assistants have been around for centuries. Nurses have trained them. Nurse educators are not teaching them how to take our jobs. They are teaching them how to care for pts within the UAP capabilities & with the high standards we expect for pt care. We need helpers - whatever you want to call them - & there is a place for them in healthcare. But when State agencies start messing around & dictating to us that those helpers will be expanded to include roles that are ours, it is up to US to put a stop to that.

    So instead of erroneously telling people that the ANA condones UAPS practicing as RNs, & coming to that conclusion because you personally didnt get around to read anything else, why not help out the Hawaii nurses & write a letter to the Hawaii State Dept of Health to tell them how you feel, as a nurse, about UAPS being given RN duties?

    Anyway, this topic is about A Call to Arms for the Nursing Profession. It was a thrilling experience to be part of a hall full of of such excited, proactive RNs & feel the energy, sense of accomplishment & hope for the future of our profession. There was not a negative molecule in the place. You can be as negative as you want, W..... but you arent going to bring us down. Not after what we have just witnessed. Too bad you missed out on a fantastic week with fellow RNs from around the country. You might have liked it. You certainly would have gotten a much-need education.
  11. by   -jt
    <What is to prevent hospitals from hiring medical assistants to come in and use them in place of nurses? >...........

    MY UNION CONTRACT. Plain & simple: Article 4 section 12......"Job Security"...."The employer shall not convert RN positions to any category of non-bargaining unit positions."

    End of discussion.

    <Right now there are a lot of emergency departments who have cut nurse staffing and are using paramedics at a cheaper cost to them. ........This is what the ANA has turned a blind eye to in some cases and approved of in others.>........

    No it has not. Not in any situation. Once again, you ASSUME this & so state it as fact but the reality is you have not done your homework. The ANA neither approves of nor turns a blind eye to RNs being replaced by any other worker. Its statements, publications & legislative work prove that. Our state association contracts that address this (like mine above) prove that. Our state limits on the responsibilities/functions of UAPS prove that. The ANAs push for federal legislation on the use of UAPs proves that. Look it up.

    If there is a problem in YOUR state, maybe its because your right-to-work nurse leaders IN YOUR STATE have turned a blind eye. Why dont you ask them about that??? Contact your State Board of Nursing & your state nurse association & just ask. Maybe they arent doing their job. Maybe nurses in your state just dont care. Maybe its even OK with them!

    After all, where is the outcry of the RNs in your state over being replaced by other workers? If we follow your logic, they must all be agreeing with & approving of this. I mean they MUST be accepting of it because I havent seen any public display of objection in the streets there on the TV news.
    {just a little facetiousness intended}

    The ANA is doing its job in Washington DC. The unionized state associations are doing their job in their respective states. What is your right-to-work-workplace-advocacy state doing - turning a blind eye & approving of your replacements?
    Point the finger where it belongs, please. And then do something about it to fix the problem.

    Since this thread is about the Call to Arms for the Nursing Profession, & we already know what the unionized states & the ANA are doing, I'll challenge you to gather your complaints about paramedics replacing nurses in your ERs & UAPS replacing nurses in your workplace-advocacy state & send them to your state association & state board of nursing. Ask what THEY are doing about RNs being replaced with less expensive workers in your state because thats who you need to be talking to.... YOUR STATE.

    If you want anything to change, YOU are going to have change it.
  12. by   infinity
    NURSES need NURSES-they need to have a United Stand--and UNIONS could be that stand. Nurses have the capability of having the largest union in the world!! If all the nursing organizations would get together and combine their talents, skills, education, and experience. Think of it-ANA or not.
    America doesn't seem to want to do anything about this-the solution must come from us!!
    Again-we have stood by and let others do this to us-speak up and out!!
    Write letters-be vocal to your neighbors-publicize the wants and needs of our profession. Fear of losing your job? There are only literally thousands more jobs out there waiting for you!!!!!!!!!!!
  13. by   auntieflo
    to those of you who go back & forth on what needs to be done...between commitee's and who is steering these commitee's talk is cheap,, i say nurses need lobbyists like the drug companies have !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    [color=#a0522d]maybe then we would get a little respect