Quotable Quotes About Nursing, February 2014

Feb 21, 2014, 9:00 AM

This is part of the February 2014 issue of Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge.

“As an ADN-prepared nurse returning to school, I have been confronted with the formidable gap between the current reality of professional nursing and the push to elevate the level and scope of practice in the face of a projected nursing shortage. I have no doubt that higher levels of education, certification, and experience have the potential to create better nurses and in turn safer environments for our patients, but I do have to question whether the infrastructure necessary to support these changes is in place.”
--Eric Deane, RN, Charlottesville, Va., Thoughts on Entry to Practice, Nurse.com, February 10, 2014

“As medical professionals we are recognizing that on a national level, advanced practice nurses [APNs] are part of the solution to the health care access crisis. The only way that patients are going to get the care they need is if all parts of the medical team, including APNs, midwives, physician’s assistants, physicians, and others, come together as partners. It’s not that nurse practitioners are going to replace any other clinicians. That’s not our goal. But advanced practice nurses are extraordinarily well prepared to provide primary care. They are trained in managing multiple types of health problems and in promoting a healthy lifestyle. With the current challenges in patient care, I can only see the role of the nurse practitioner increasing.”
--Ivy Alexander, PhD, APRN, FAAN, clinical professor and director of advanced practice programs, University of Connecticut School of Nursing, An Expanding Role for Nurse Practitioners, Medical Xpress, February 5, 2014

“More needs to be done to help spread awareness [about the Affordable Care Act]. This is one of the things nurses do best. They educate.”
--Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, FAAN, administrator, Health Resources & Services Administration, Nurses Step Out to Help with ACA Enrollment, Nursezone.com, January 31, 2014

“The patient-centered nature of nurse practitioner training, which often includes care coordination and sensitivity to the impact on health of social and cultural factors, such as environment and family situation, makes nurse practitioners particularly well prepared for and interested in providing primary care.”
--Maggie Mahar, author of Health Beat, Obamacare Isn’t Creating a Doctor Shortage, It’s Solving It, The Guardian, January 28, 2014

“Health care is a highly emotional[ly] charged environment, especially for nurses. With life and death decisions being made every day, it is no wonder nurses feel tremendous pressure. They enter the profession with hopes of making a difference, but then after working a short time, they start to realize how demanding and difficult the job is. ... What I have noticed ... is that nurses tend to take out their frustrations on each other. There is a saying that 'Nurses eat their young.' And I have found that to be true. ... Instead of throwing them to the wolves, leaders need to become mentors. Hospital leadership must understand compassion fatigue and how it affects the nurses, and ultimately the patients. They must work to create a culture of caring as opposed to a culture of curing. And this caring must extend out to their staff.”
--Patricia Smith, founder, Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project, Compassion Fatigue’s Surprising Costs, Health Leaders Media, January 21, 2014

“I wasn’t a supporter of ObamaCare. But under its mandate we had a choice whether to expand Medicaid using federal funds. We chose to expand Medicaid because it was the right thing to do for New Mexico. Now, we have a responsibility and duty to expand our primary care workforce to meet these new demands. Today, in 32 of 33 counties, we don‘t have enough health care workers, and that’s before we attempt to add up to 205,000 more people to Medicaid. We have taken some strong first steps toward creating more jobs in the health care industry, like training and educating more nurses by instituting a common statewide nursing curriculum. Credits will transfer seamlessly between every college or university, and students can now earn bachelor’s level nursing degrees in their own community. Thank you to the nursing consortium ... More nurses in rural areas. You helped make it happen.”
--New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, JD, 2014 State of the State Address, January 21, 2014

“There’s no doubt that nurses need more education. Patients are sicker and as health care becomes more complex, more is required of us. ... The data has shown us that patients do better with BSN-prepared nurses. They have lower morbidity rates, recover quicker, have fewer readmissions to the hospital and get better quality of care overall. In this whole era of cost-containment, hospitals are recognizing that having adequate staffing with nurses who have the right education is important.”
--Lisa Eichelberger, DSN, RN, dean, College of Health at Clayton State University and co-chair, Georgia Nursing Action Coalition, The power of learning: How education can help nurses further their careers, Atlanta Journal Constitution, January 21, 2014

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.