Overheard: First "National Day of Dialogue"

Jul 5, 2011, 12:30 PM, Posted by mtomlinson

On June 29, Nurse.com hosted the first “National Day of Dialogue” on the Institute of Medicine’s groundbreaking report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The following are quotes from speakers. Learn more about the National Day of Dialogue and watch the archived webcast.

“We are continuing to look at the Institute of Medicine report and its associated recommendations at the Health Resources and Services Administration… The administration… recognizes and understands the challenges that we face in meeting what is a growing demand for health care services across the United States. That growing demand is the result of a lot of different factors, including the aging of the population as well as the increasing size of the U.S. population… In many ways part of the solution to those challenges, as well as other challenges, have nursing at its core.”

-- Mary Wakefield, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

“All the recommendations are meant to address the entire nursing profession at every level. Remember our goal is to shape the future of nursing and how we can play a role in making patient care most accessible, cost effective and higher quality. We can’t do this by excluding any segment of our profession… Not only should nurses at every level show leadership in their daily roles by taking responsibility and being held accountable for their patient care, but we need to open up opportunities for nurses to play a leadership role in shaping the way care services are delivered… This is not a report for nurses, just about nurses. This involves everyone who cares about the future of health care in this country.”

-- Susan B. Hassmiller, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., senior adviser for nursing, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey

“As far as the recommendation to have 80 percent of the workforce prepared by 2020 with a baccalaureate degree in nursing, yes I do think it’s realistic… this is a blue print, this is a target. And I do think it’s realistic because of the three million nurses that we have in our country, about 50 percent of them already have a baccalaureate degree.”

-- Muriel M. Shore, R.N., Ed.D., dean and professor, division of nursing and health management, Felician College, Rutherford, New Jersey

“Will there be more of these [community college baccalaureate] programs? Oh yes there will, and there are already… It’s just been a wonderful success story for us and I really think that it’s a model that’s cost effective and I think that’s why you’ll see more of these types of programs.”

-- Jean Wortock, A.R.N.P., Ph.D., dean and professor, college of nursing, St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg, Florida

“I believe the barriers I have faced in completing my degree are common for many associate degree nurses. When I originally graduated from nursing school my intention was to eventually go back and complete my B.S.N. Over the years, personal reasons such as working full time, managing a family, and juggling financial responsibilities have prevented me from working toward this goal. However there were professional reasons as well, such as questioning the value of a B.S.N. to my bedside practice and the lack of any financial advancement in my career.”

-- Cristin Crutcher, R.N., A.D.N., staff nurse, INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital, Fairfax, Virginia

“I don’t think I really understood what the B.S.N. degree did for me, I think I took it for granted in college, and working for the last couple of years I really feel like it’s guided me to where I am today as a nurse… When providing patient care I feel as though I’m not only prepared to perform a specific skill, but I feel like I have understanding and the pathophysiology behind that disease process, and I understand the science and theory behind my interventions.”

-- Lauren Walker, R.N., B.S.N., staff nurse, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C.

“It’s important to distinguish between continuing education and lifelong learning. Continuing education is part of what we need to function in our day-to-day role… But lifetime learning is something that has to come from deep within. Lifetime learning is the individual’s ability to look at themselves, what they feel their interests are and what they feel that their passions are, and to use that to motivate and guide them to build on the foundation of their practice as well as take them to a higher level…The need to know more, be more, do more and understand more makes us a stronger body in our profession.”

-- Theresa Ameri, R.N., M.S.N., C.N.E., C.P.N., professional development specialist, Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.

“We’re told that there are lots of nursing jobs out there, that there’s going to be a nursing shortage and there will be plenty of work for us, but what we see oftentimes is that there aren’t very many jobs, or that the conditions are poor, or that the pay is less than we’d hoped. We see a health care system that is under intense stress and pressure right now. We hear lots of good things may be happening right now, but as nursing students we’re concerned with the here and now… Students deal with immediate realities and we don’t have the opportunity or luxury to feel empowered.”

-- Arwen Quinn, policy and initiatives director, Virginia Student Nursing Association, Radford University, Radford, Virginia

“The eighth recommendation [of the report] is about data, and we believe we’re a jump ahead…But for us, almost more importantly, we see the creation and the development and the refinement of the nursing minimum datasets as a good example of nurses leading nursing. We did not wait for others to do this for us; we launched this as a group of nursing workforce centers… We really believed it was important for us to show leadership to nurses for nursing, in the interest of a healthier America.”

-- Linda Tieman, R.N., M.S., F.A.C.H.E., executive director, Washington Center for Nursing, Tukwila, Washington

“My opinion… is that nurses lead quality. I think we’re at a pivotal point where we can either embrace it or run to the trees. I think we should embrace it because the country is looking to nurses. There’s big enough numbers [of us] and we should be able to do this.”

-- Carol Porter, R.N., D.N.P., chief nursing officer and senior vice president, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York

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