ANA’s 2017 conference on Friday continued to equip nurses for leading transformational change in health care and provided learning opportunities to translate quality into practice.
“We must prepare for cultural and operational change in nursing practice,” said Carol Boston-Fleischhauer, JD, MS, BSN, chief nursing officer, The Advisory Board Company, in the opening general session “Care Across the Continuum: New Nursing Roles.”
Reporting on trends, she noted, “One in every three health care dollars is wasted, according to the Institute of Medicine. The current system is challenged by the cost of chronic disease and poor care coordination.”
She emphasized that nurses are being looked to for solutions. “This is our ‘Kodak moment’ – our opportunity to adapt to the world we find ourselves in,” she said. Boston-Fleischhauer pointed to ANA’s health care reform principles as consistent with cross continuum care.
She identified imperatives for nurse leaders, who must understand the changes and essential skills for the workforce needed across the continuum of care, and urged nurses to embrace change and prepare for new roles, including those in acute care settings, nurse-run clinics, home health care and long term care.
Health care reform
On Thursday, nursing and health care leaders participated in a panel discussion to address the latest developments surrounding Congress’ efforts to reform the nation’s health care system. ANA is a leading voice in the health care conversation. The panel was moderated by Marla Weston, PhD, RN, FAAN, chief executive officer, ANA Enterprise.
“Policy is almost always informed by politics,” said ANA Senior Associate Director of Government Affairs Tim Casey. He described ANA’s intensive advocacy work, which included a public statement, ANA’s letter to Congress, and ongoing, respectful conversations with Congressional staff. “Don’t underestimate the power of your voice—the collective voices of nurses,” Casey said.
From a health system perspective, the panel included Jeff Doucette, DNP, RN, FACHE, CENP, vice president, Magnet® and Pathway to Excellence®, American Nurses Credentialing Center, former vice president and chief nursing officer, Bon Secours Health System; and Lillee Gelinas, MSN, RN, FAAN, Editor-in-Chief, American Nurse Today, past chief nursing officer, CHRISTUS Health.
Several attendees contributed to the discussion through Q & As, highlighting the wave of recent consumer activism and providing a historical perspective of health care reform.
In concluding, ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, underscored the importance of action. “We [ANA] are in conversations giving [critical] input. Our state nurses associations are also involved. ANA makes it easy for you to get involved through RNaction.org. Continue to use the tools provided to voice your opinion. Be informed. The public trusts us – and our Code [of Ethics for Nurses] articulates the inherent responsibility of our role. Take a few minutes to see what you can do.”