Nurses Should Drive Health Reform

This commentary examines the role of nursing in shaping health reform. The authors briefly examine the traditional lack of nursing input into health policy and discuss the goals of the newly formed Nursing Alliance for Quality Reform.

Key Points:

  • Nurses are the single largest group of health care providers. They hold a unique position on the front lines of delivery of medical care. However, they have been overlooked in the policy-making process, which has traditionally relied far more extensively on physicians, executives and pharmacists.
  • The Nursing Alliance for Quality Care was created to increase the influence of nurses on health policy. The organization aims to influence health care policy that affects quality, safety and value of health care.
  • The Nursing Alliance for Quality Care’s goals include supporting nurses as health reform advocates, establishing national quality and safety goals, and increasing recognition of nursing as a key component of quality health care reform.
  • The Nursing Alliance for Quality Care will also include consumer representatives to better shape health care policy.

Nurses have a unique perspective on the health care system. The Nursing Alliance for Quality Care will help bring this perspective to bear on health policy and reform.