NEW YORK NURSE: December 2010
by Karen A. Ballard, MA, RN, FAAN, President
This is the second holiday season in which, as NYSNA president, I bring you greetings of the season and the hope that you, your families and patients will be blessed with happiness, peace, joy, comfort and health.
Last year I asked that as nurses we commit “to achieving health care for all now, not later, and to making the nation’s sick care system into a true and viable healthcare system” and “to help bring this gift to the millions that have no access or limited access to health care in this great nation.” As a result of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, millions in the U.S. will be receiving that greatest gift — access to quality, affordable health care (www.healthcare.gov.)
As citizens and nurses, we can be proud and grateful for the work of ANA, NYSNA, and the many nurses who toiled tirelessly to make health care a right, not a privilege. It is overwhelming to have participated in such a momentous change in health care.
In 2011, as I introduced in last month’s column, the challenge for this generation of nurses is to advance the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s Report on the Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. This could be the next greatest gift that we as nurses could achieve for our profession and our patients – a new realization of the art and science of nursing and how nurses and nursing will be vital providers of health care in a changed delivery system.
On November 30 and December 1 in Washington, D.C., the National Summit on Advancing Health through Nursing, hosted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), brought together diverse leaders from around the country to discuss the implications of the IOM’s report and its recommendations for the future of health care and the future role of nurses in America. The summit resources and videos are now available at www.thefutureofnursing.org. For coverage of NYSNA’s role in the summit, see page 12 of this issue.
The IOM initiative provides NYS nurses a unique opportunity in the history of this profession to make changes that will impact upon generations of nurses and the practice of nursing. As I told the nurses assembled in Latham for the Regional Awareness Meeting, we are making nursing history and we cannot afford to fail ourselves, the profession or our patients. The more than 70 participants pledged to support this crucial work by identifying implementation of the joint NYSNA-NYONE legislative initiative of a baccalaureate degree in nursing within ten years of licensure as a priority.
Once again, I truly believe in the vision, strength, and commitment of nurses, especially my NYSNA colleagues, and we will seize this opportunity, making implementation of these recommendations our gift to the nursing profession of the future.