We would like to offer our vision for nursing’s role in America as our local hospitals move forward in our commitment to create a healthier community. We believe this vision will be shared by our leadership, in recognition of the value that nurses add to our community and the sacrifices they have endured. . Our hope is that nursing’s value to our country will be seen as a collaborative investment in the future, rather than as an adversarial zero-sum profession.

Over the last two years, nurses have seen ourselves portrayed in worldwide media as heroes for our service to our community. This image of heroism, while flattering, we must kindly reject. We are not heroes. We are compassionate, skilled professionals who desire what everyone else does- personal health, safe and happy families, and a meaningful career, including a job with dignified working conditions and adequate compensation. 

CT scan in the special treatment radiology department

When these needs are met, we can be the best versions of ourselves, engaged in our work and looking forward to the future, anticipating the needs of our employer and our community, and doing what we do best, which is solving whatever problem we need to with grace and compassion.

We appreciate our medicare and media’s emphasis on value-based care as the defining factor moving forward in the health care landscape. High quality nursing care has long been proven to be a key factor in many outcomes, which are important to the patients and to hospitals. 

These include reduced mortality and morbidity, reduction of infections, errors, and complications, and lowering length of stay. For this reason we are hopeful that the hospitals and  leaders alike will make the appropriate investments in nursing care, in the same manner that they have made investments in physical plant improvements and more efficient care delivery models, such as expanding primary care access.

Nurses are used to overcoming barriers to high quality care. Despite the many roadblocks thrown in our way every day, we manage to figure out solutions almost every time. This is evidenced by the quality awards our healthcare systems have continued to receive throughout the pandemic.

It is an unfortunate fact that we have been bearing this burden at cost to ourselves, and we nurses are burning out. We are frustrated by the employer’s failure to maintain adequate nursing staff, and we believe that the problem needs to be addressed in a different manner than in years prior. 

Dr. Brent James teaches us in our quality improvement course that every system is perfectly designed to achieve the results it gets. Therefore, we recognize that the current system is flawed. It is not achieving the results the company needs to recruit and retain the highest quality nurses that will be required to meet the company’s mission moving forward.

We reject the frame of reference that accepts the fact of “The Nursing Shortage” The reality is that there is a shortage of decent workplace conditions and compensation. We have seen temporary nurses flock to our state when offered appropriate compensation by the employer. We believe that the proper financial proposals to be paid what you’re worth, will help to reverse the cycle of burnout and attrition.  After all, retaining our most skilled and experienced nurses, and by attracting the highest quality candidates to our healthcare system, is the best for patient care and our community. 

We are fiercely proud of our nurses who give the best of themselves to their employer and community every day. We believe that proper financial proposals to recognize the true value our nurses add to their organization and we hope you will share our vision and make the necessary investment to create a Healthier country. 

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