The American Nurses' Association (ANA), in accordance with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Otis R. Bowen's Commission on Nursing final report, plans to fight the nursing shortage in 1989 more aggressively than ever before. Many of the commission's suggested strategies are already part of ANA's ongoing projects, and the association plans to act on all recommendations suggested to nursing organizations.
"We commend the commission for putting forth strategies that address all elements of the shortage. Their report reaffirms the validity of nursing's solutions and eliminates the need to test any new bedside caregivers," said ANA President Lucilie A. Joel, EdD, RN, FAAN.
ANA, along with its constituent state associations will focus on the following issues in 1989:
* Urge hospitals to relieve nurses of non-nursing duties.
* Examine the utilization and regulation of nursing assistants.
* Urge hospitals and the federal government to invest in computer technology that allows nurses to spend more time with patients.
* Continue activities aimed at achieving higher salaries for nurses.
* Lobby for increased state and federal funding for nursing education.
* Urge active nurse participation in governance, administration, and management of their employing institutions.
* Continue to work for implementation of two categories of professional and technical nursing practice.
Joel also says that ANA believes the commission's recommendations will have more impact than recommendations from other groups in the past for three reasons: they are very specific about what groups need to take what actions, public support for finding solutions to the nursing shortage is building, and the graying of America brings a sense of urgency to solving the problem once and for all.