Finally in this week’s nursing news is a great article from the Houston Chronicle that focuses on the need for more nurses at the heart of policy change in healthcare. Nurses make up the largest single segment of the healthcare community but are poorly represented in the policy and decision making areas of health reform.

Nurses Must Assume Leadership in Healthcare

nurse leadershipThe American Nurses Association points to this lack of presence as a huge problem and alludes to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) nurse leadership report in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that debunked the conventional wisdom that only doctors should be trusted with guiding the future of healthcare in the U.S.

On the contrary, nurses, as the primary bedside caregiver, should be at least a full partner in that decision-making process. The ANA is urging more nurses to press for and assume leadership roles in the future of healthcare. They shouldn’t just complain about the direction of healthcare, they should “delegate, dictate, and direct” changes in the healthcare system.

How to Develop New Nurse Leaders

Unfortunately, that leadership doesn’t happen overnight. Nursing leadership programs and classes in nursing schools need to be developed so that we are turning out nurses that expect to take leadership positions in healthcare. This isn’t just a glorified nursing MBA program but a true healthcare leadership track that focuses on the unique challenges that face us all in the patient care and wellness arena.

I’m curious about what you think about this. What should we be doing to bring more nurses into leadership and policy decision-making positions? Let me know your thoughts. Shoot me an email to NursingShow@gmail.com. As always, I look forward to hearing from you!

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Flu On Call Pandemic Nurse Triage Line and Episode 292.

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