If you can’t attend, we’ve got you covered in advance as we sat down with Debbie Hatmaker, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Chief Nursing Officer at the American Nurses Association (ANA)Enterprise, to discuss the ANA’s role in addressing the nurse staffing crisis and how nurses can use the Magnet model to better their careers.
What follows is our interview, edited for length and clarity.
American Nurses Association (ANA) Chief Nursing Officer, Debbie Hatmaker, PhD, RN, FAAN
-Earlier this year, the ANA urged Congress to address the nurse staffing crisis and the work environment issues. Can you discuss the need for a national dialogue and ongoing collaboration between nurses, Congressional leaders, and other key stakeholders to support our nursing workforce, patients, and our nation’s health and well-being?
The nurse staffing crisis continues to demand a national dialogue with nurse-led approaches to help ease the enduring work environment challenges that nurses face across numerous specialties and healthcare settings. We support enforceable minimum nurse-to-patient ratios that reflect key factors such as patient acuity, intensity of the unit practice setting, and nurses’ competency, among other variables. And this is just one part of a larger solution to solve this.
We continue to work on addressing other challenges that have significantly made the nurse staffing issue worse, such as burnout, workplace violence, mandatory overtime, and barriers to full practice authority.
Nearly 400 ANA members convened at the U.S. Capitol, representing the nation’s more than 4 million registered nurses, to petition Congress to address the national nurse staffing crisis this summer. In addition to advocating, ANA is also advancing solutions from the 2022 Nurse Staffing Think Tank2022 in partnership with other leading organizations, which produced a series of actionable strategies that healthcare organizations could implement within 12 – 18 months.
We continue to advocate on behalf of nurses and remain a collaborative partner. Our goal is to empower nurses and position them for success. We continue calling on Congress to enact meaningful legislation and policies that improve nurse staffing and work environments.
–How can nurses use the Magnet Model to better their nursing leadership and shared decision-making?
The Magnet process fosters a collaborative culture that spurs shared decision-making. Magnet organizations are even provided with a multiyear framework for quality improvement and a structured way to engage staff in decision-making. This tool can help energize and motivate teams. In fact, team building, collaborating across disciplines, regular open community, and building staff engagement, while difficult to quantify, are often what happens during the Magnet process.
-What are some questions to ask before accepting a job at a Magnet hospital? Can you offer some tips for helping nurses choose which Magnet hospital to work in?
Each Magnet-recognized organization will have its own hiring standards, so each nurse should review those as they apply for or accept a position. But they should know that whatever role they fill, a Magnet organization will invest in them and their potential. At ANCC, we’ve created a free resource for nurses looking for select practice environments and interview questions to ask.
Magnet Recognition means education and development through every career stage, which leads to greater autonomy at the bedside. A Magnet organization supports opportunities for nurses to pursue new skills and professional development, champions them in those pursuits, and rewards them for advancing in their profession.
We’ll be at the 2023 ANCC National Magnet Conference® October 12-14 at the at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois. Stop by booth #918. We look forward to seeing you there!
“To begin, we must acknowledge that from 1916 until 1964, ANA purposefully, systemically and systematically excluded Black nurses…”
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is taking a meaningful first step to acknowledge its own past actions that have negatively impacted nurses of color and perpetuated systemic racism. With the release of a formal racial reckoning statement on July 12, ANA is beginning a multi-phase journey of reconciliation, forgiveness, and healing. The Journey of Racial Reconciliation is the name for ANA’s racial reckoning journey as it seeks to address past racial harms from as far back as the formation of the association in 1896.
From the ANA statement:
“Similar to the concerns raised by Black nurses, in 1974, led by Dr. Ildaura Murillo- Rhode, a group of 12 Hispanic nurses who were also members of ANA came together to consider establishing a Hispanic Nurses Caucus within ANA because ‘ANA was not being responsive to the needs of Hispanic nurses.'”
“We know that ANA’s work to reckon with our historical and institutional racist actions and inactions is long overdue. Racism is an assault on the human spirit, and we want to be accountable for our part in perpetuating it. We have certainly failed many nurses of color and ethnic-minority nursing organizations, undoubtedly damaging our relationship with them and in so doing, diluting the richness of the nursing profession. We ask forgiveness from nurses of color as a first step to mend what is broken,” said ANA CEO Loressa Cole, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.
“ANA recognizes that issues of racism persist today and continue to harm nurses of color. Findings from the Commission’s 2021 national survey on racism in nursing (n = 5,600) noted that racist acts are principally perpetrated by colleagues and those in positions of power. Over half of nurses surveyed (63%) said they had personally experienced an act of racism in the workplace with the transgressors being either a peer (66%) or a manager or supervisor (60%). Fifty-six percent of respondents also noted that racism in the workplace has negatively impacted their professional well-being.”
On June 11, 2022, the ANA Membership Assembly, ANA’s highest governing body, took historic action to begin a journey of racial reckoning by unanimously adopting the ANA Racial Reckoning Statement. Please read the entire statement and stay connected with ANA on its journey.
The Supreme Court of the United States recently ruled to strike the Patient Protection and ACA’s requirement for health insurance plans to cover the total costs of contraception. The American Nurses Association (ANA) released a statement about their disappointment in this ruling.
We interviewed Cheryl Peterson, MSN, RN, the ANA Vice President of Nursing Practice and Work Environment about ANA’s stance and what this ruling means for the nation.
Why is ANA disappointed in the recent ruling of the Supreme Court to strike down the Patient Protection and ACA’s requirement for health insurance plans to cover the total costs of contraception?
ANA firmly believes all people have the right to determine how and in what form they receive health care. This recent decision from the Supreme Court affects millions of women and health care consumers who have depended on this mandate to offset some of the costs of reproductive health care. For some people, contraception can be a considerable expense. During this COVID-19 pandemic, many people are furloughed or receiving a limited income. Therefore, they may have no choice but to go without contraception health services.
Why is ANA taking a stand on this?
The American Nurses Association (ANA) has advocated for not only nurses, but for quality health care of all people—for decades. With regard to the recent SCOTUS decision on the ACA contraception mandate, we must ensure that all women and health care consumers are provided equal access to quality health care and are provided the proper counseling. All patients have a right to make their own decision about their medical care and treatment.
What do you think is going to happen to the women who counted on this coverage? Why? Do you think this may result in more unplanned pregnancies?
Unfortunately, many women are already facing tough economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These women might have to compromise other necessities to obtain contraception coverage or may even have to sacrifice their own reproductive health because they simply don’t have the financial means to obtain these health services. The latter scenario could possibly lead to unplanned pregnancies.
What can be done to help them? What can nurses do in their proverbial “own back yards” to help these women?
Nurses can use their voices to educate women on what their best options are for affordable, quality reproductive health care, which includes contraception and contraception counseling. Nurses can also provide insights and advice on types of contraception for women with particular health needs and concerns.
What kind of challenges is the Supreme Court’s ruling going to cause?
Decisions regarding reproductive health and family planning are inherently personal. The outcome of this ruling jeopardizes a women’s ability to collaborate with her trusted primary health care provider or see the same practitioner for follow-up visits. In addition, this could result in reduced access to crucial and medically necessary health care services and the further exacerbation of health disparities.
Are there any other places that may cover the cost that remains for contraception?
Title X family planning programs have a decades long history of bridging gaps and providing comprehensive family planning and preventive health services to individuals needing access to these services.
On March 19, nurses everywhere can honor the extra work they have put into getting certified as the nation celebrates Certified Nurses Day.
Sponsored by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Nurses Association, Certified Nurses Day offers a chance to acknowledge nurses’ extra efforts to gain the board certification that establishes advanced knowledge and specialization in specific areas. Nurses can earn certification in everything from national healthcare disaster certification to cardiac rehabilitation to nursing case management, sharpening their skill set and therefore improving the patient care they provide. But certification takes work. Nurses must pass a credentialing exam and complete continuing education to maintain certification every few years. Registered nurses are able to practice nursing, but nurses who earn certification status in various specialties are valuable to employers for additional reasons. Their extra motivation and willingness to become certified signals a dedication to nursing and to patient care. Earning certification shows they pursue their passions to advance their skills and go above and beyond typical job duties.
According to the ANCC, Certified Nurses Day is celebrated on “the birthday of Margretta ‘Gretta’ Madden Styles, the renowned expert of nurse credentialing. An accomplished advocate for nursing standards and certification, for more than two decades Styles advanced nursing practice and regulation worldwide.”
Nurses who are board certified in any specialty can help educate other nurses of the value of obtaining this extra designation. And the healthcare settings, patients, employers, and others for whom nurses form an invaluable part of the team can bolster the efforts and recognize the extra work it takes to earn and keep that certification.
If you don’t have certification in a specialty you’re particularly interested in or if you want to obtain another certification, the ANCC can help answer questions. Each certification has different testing and renewal requirements, so it’s best to check what you’ll need.
Many certified nurses appreciate the expertise recognition their certification confers. If you are especially interested in an area of nursing and have knowledge that people turn to you for, getting certified makes your knowledge and professionalism recognizable to others. Some nurses say they are reluctant to take the credentialing exam as they aren’t sure if they will pass. If that is your concern, take the extra time to study. If you don’t pass, you can take it again. Not everyone passes credentialing exams on the first try, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t refocus and take it again.
On Certified Nurses Day celebrate yourself and your colleagues who have obtained this extra education. Make plans to go out to lunch or just to say thanks to your colleagues who are making an effort to improve nursing care and their own professional skills. If you are thinking about getting certified in a specialty, take steps today to get the process started. You’ll advance your knowledge, your career, and your profession while providing the best possible patient care.
Any nurse concerned about being ill-prepared to care for Ebola patients should be able to refuse the assignment. So says the leader of the American Nurses Association [ANA].
“We strongly encourage nurses to speak up if they believe there is inadequate planning, education or treatment related to providing care to these or any patients, and seek to resolve any conflicts of responsibility swiftly,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.
“Nurses should have the right to refuse an assignment if they do not feel adequately prepared or do not have the necessary equipment to care for Ebola patients,” Cipriano said in a news release.
At Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital where Thomas Eric Duncan — the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. — died last week, nurses publicly stated that nurses treating him lacked protective gear and that protocols constantly changed. Two of those nurses, Nina Pham and Amber Joy Vinson, were diagnosed with Ebola. Texas Health Presbyterian officials defended its Ebola procedures, saying it followed CDC protocols, USA Today reported.
Emory’s special isolation unit – one of five on the nation – has successfully treated three cases of Ebola without any medical professionals becoming infected. But even there, to allay fears, volunteers were sought and staff were allowed to decline the assignments, according to Forbes.
Around the world, about 400 health care staff have Ebola, and more than 230 have died, according to CNN.
Stopping Ebola in its tracks will require a global response to the crisis in West Arica and a collaborative approach involving interprofessional, state and federal organizations in this nation, said Cipriano.
Robin Farmer is a freelance content specialist with a focus on health, business and education. Visit her at www.robinfarmerwrites.com.