Dear OADN Members:
In the majority of my messages, I focus on nursing education and how this often impacts OADN and each of you in your daily work as nurse educators. In the last month, there have been many occurrences that have resulted in my reflection on the status of healthcare in this country and the impact of the nursing profession. I think it is important that as an organization, we not only follow the many trends and issues impacting nursing education, but also nursing practice. Yes, we are all nurse educators, but first and foremost we are part of the largest and most trusted healthcare profession in the United States.
As a result of being part of the nursing profession, OADN frequently is involved with issues that impact practice and ultimately healthcare of our communities. Most recently, OADN along with 39 other national nursing organizations sent a letter urging President Trump and Congress to make high quality, affordable health care and access a top priority. Other key messages included in the letter were ensuring patients access to health care with affordable coverage options, regardless of their preexisting conditions and maintaining the nation’s commitment to strengthen its health care workforce.
The OADN Board of Directors also has urged the membership to contact their Congressional Representatives in support of the Nursing Workforce Development Programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act). Congressman David Joyce (R-OH), joined by a bipartisan group of colleagues, including Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Patrick Meehan (R-PA), and Kathy Castor (D-FL), introduced the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2017, (HR 959). This important legislation directly impacts nursing education and workforce, and ultimately the future of healthcare in our country. Administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, these programs address all aspects of nursing workforce demand, including education, practice, recruitment, and retention. The Title VIII programs bolster nursing education at all levels, from entry-level preparation through graduate study, and also provide support for institutions and nurse faculty.
Additionally, as part of the Nursing Community, OADN is involved in working with 64 national nursing organizations that make up the coalition membership representing over one million practicing nurses, nurse executives, and nursing students, faculty, and researchers. The coalition of national profession nursing associations builds consensus and advocates on a wide spectrum of healthcare and nursing issues, including practice, education, and research. The Nursing Community is committed to improving the health and health care of our nation by collaborating to support the education and practice of Registered Nurses (RNs) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). For example, in late January the Nursing Community sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, and the committees of jurisdiction outlining the Nursing Community’s overarching healthcare reform priorities. The Nursing Community is prepared to work with Congress and provide expertise related to access, affordability, and quality.
Finally, I would like to bring attention to OADN’s continued involvement as one of the founding members of the Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC). The NOBC represents national nursing and other organizations working to build healthier communities in America by increasing nurses’ presence on corporate, health-related, and other boards, panels, and commissions. The coalition’s goal is to help ensure that at least 10,000 nurses are on boards by 2020, as well as raise awareness that all boards would benefit from the unique perspective of nurses to achieve the goals of improved health, and efficient and effective health care systems at the local, state, and national levels. We have made great progress with additional strategic partners and the placement of nurses on some key boards. If you have not yet been counted as a nurse serving on a board, I encourage you to visit, http://nursesonboardscoalition.org/.
It is vital for OADN to be involved in all aspects of nursing, and not only the education component. Education and practice need to complement and support each other. We cannot work in silos and void of each other ideas and issues. Additionally, as a national nursing organization we must be involved in all aspects including advocacy, leadership, and collaboration with others. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with a brief glimpse of other activities OADN is involved in to demonstrate the inclusiveness of the organization that represents you in so many ways!
Donna Meyer, MSN, RN, ANEF, FAADN