Obama Promotes Nurse to Lead

The American Nurses Association endorsed President Obama when he was running for President because of his insight into the health care crisis, the nursing shortage and the fact that the nursing profession needs some strong role models and leadership.

He also has a strong understanding that nurses are the backbone of health care in the U.S. and that in order to improve the health and well being of Americans, that nurses need to have an active role in overseeing the health care industry.

Today, President Obama took action to promote a nurse to a leadership position in the health care industry. He appointed Dr. Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, FAAN, to head the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Health and Human Services.

Dr. Wakefield is a strong supporter of nurses and has most recently been the associate dean of rural health at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of North Dakota. She has also served on a multitude of local, state and national health-related advisory boards, and has authored multiple articles and columns about health care issues. As a speaker, she has presented at national and international groups on the subject of public policies and strategies to influence policy making and political process in regards to health care issues.

Her experience is in rural health care and her expertise is in quality and patient safety, Medicare payment policy, public policy process and workforce issues. Congratulations Dr. Wakefield you will serve us all proudly!

Meanwhile, the Office of the National Nurse campaign moves forward. Read this terrific post from Kim at Emergiblog.

Nurses are encouraged to contact CNA/NNOC to discuss support for this effort and clarify misconceptions. Call Deborah Burger, RN at (510) 273-2200. Or email her at dburger at calnurses dot org.

The nursing shortage will not be solved without strong leadership in the profession. And in the face of economic disasters, it is more important than ever for nurses to hold strong to the values and to the gains we have made in quality patient care. As has been shown to be the case all too often in past economic downturns, facility administrators will try hard to undermine these efforts in order to force nurses to work overtime, lay off staff, and bully nurses into ignoring patient quality issues such as nurse to patient ratios in order to avoid being fired.

Strong nursing leadership has never been more important than at this moment!!