pardon me but lets be accurate, you say it was on the ona website "not long ago". this is very old information. it refers to the 107th congress (2001-2002) and we are now in the 110th. hb 78 was before the 124th general assembly. we are now in the 127th. we need to look at what is the reality of today rather than using old information as if it were reflective of 2008. while i would not dispute the statements that were made back then we need to look at today. we are now in a post 9/11 world. the war on terror; bioterrorism; a global marketplace; and a never-ending war all have taken a toll and changed our priorities. you cannot separate the issues we face in health care and nursing from what is happening on the larger world stage.
we are an aging nursing workforce with the vast majority of us getting closer to retirement each day. we still have not been able to address the shortage of nurse faculty and clinical placement site issues in a manner that assures a steady supply of nurses to replace the aging baby boomers. we see more nurses getting advanced degrees and filling voids in the primary care arena. the cost of health care continues to outpace other sectors of the economy and the number of uninsured and under insured people continues to grow placing increasing demands on an ever more fragile economy. technological developments have changed the care delivery model dramatically and our “flat world” economy is changing the face of every aspect of our world including health care.
resolving the nurse shortage is multifaceted as was stated in a report ona prepared for gov. strickland just last year. it stated, “ohio, like most states, is facing a burgeoning shortage of nurses. efforts to address the shortage are two-pronged—recruitment of new nurses into the profession and retention of existing licensees.” with respect to retention, the report goes on to say, “retention of the existing, experienced nurse workforce is essential if ohio is to assure accessible, safe care for its citizens. environmental issues are most often cited by nurses as the reason they leave direct patient care. ergonomic factors and staffing issues are among the environmental factors that affect the decision to remain at the bedside.”
in response to that observation, ona has worked to establish through legislation incentives that would encourage facilities to institute safe patient handling policies and procedures. in addition, ona has been working on the staffing principles legislation and other bills related to the shortage of nurse faculty members. while many would like to point fingers and complain that these efforts do not go far enough they are at least steps forward. we have also invested time and energy resources in the nursing 2015 initiative that holds a great deal of promise for a better future for nursing if we can keep the passion, patience, and persistence going in a way that sustains what has already been accomplished and keeps the momentum going. those who would scrap all that we have accomplished really offer a promise of nothing better to take its place. i hear a lot of rhetoric and complaining but have seen little in the way of concrete action that can truly have an impact given the real world of ohio politics.