Cape Gazette
http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/1032973

Ten Beebe nurses visit Capitol Hill and let their voices be heard

Jul 22, 2013
Source: Submitted A group of Beebe Medical Center nurses went to Washington, D.C., to meet with legislators. Pictured are (l-r) Megan Williams, FNP, director of Population Health; Kelly Decyk, RN, Progressive Care Unit; Theresa Houston, RN, BSN, CCRN, Critical Care educator; Janet Haebler, MSN, RN, executive director of State Government Affairs for the American Nurses Association; Jennifer Hargreaves, BA, RN, Clinical Education; Sarah Carmody, executive director, Delaware Nurses Association; Jacqueline M. Cooke, MSN, RN, WHNP-BC, clinical educator, WHP; Lynn Toth, RN, MSN, NP-C, cardiovascular service line; Patti Hall, RN, nursing supervisor; Paula Goodman, CRNA, nurse anesthetist; Jen Mancuso, RN, BSN, nursing supervisor; and Susan Davis, CRNA, nurse anesthetist.

In support of proposed healthcare legislation, 10 nurses from Beebe Medical Center participated in the Delaware Nurses Association’s third annual trip to Capitol Hill. The nurses met with Delaware Sen. Tom Carper and Sen. Chris Coons and Delaware Rep. John Carney to discuss issues that specifically impact the nursing profession.

Throughout the day, the nurses were given the opportunity to discuss various aspects of nursing practice and patient care. For example, one proposed piece of legislation would require that hospital staffing decisions include input from a committee of direct care nurses. The American Nurses Association maintains that such a requirement would lead to a more positive work environment and better patient care.

Also, the ANA has recognized how the growing nursing shortage already has contributed to diminished patient care nationwide. The organization is advocating for significant funding increases to improve nursing education and professional opportunities. Several major grant programs have been developed as sources of funding in areas including advanced education nursing and workforce diversity.

“The trip allowed Beebe nurses to get involved in supporting federal legislation to improve patient care,” says Steven Rhone, vice president of Patient Care Services. “It opened their eyes to how laws are made and how they might become part of that important process.”

“As a nurse, you spend the majority of your time taking care of patients,” says Megan Williams, FNP, director of Population Health. “This event was an excellent opportunity for us to share our individual experiences with congressmen.”

The Delaware Nurses Association encourages nurses to become involved in government to increase access to high-quality, safe healthcare.

“For more than a decade, nursing outranks all other professions in Gallup’s annual honesty and ethics survey and is viewed as the most trusted profession,” says Janet Haebler, MSN, RN, from the American Nursing Association. “Thanks to the DNA’s partnership with the ANA, nurses were able to voice their support for needed federal policy.”

For more information go to www.beebemed.org.

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