The challenges facing incoming President Barack Obama and Congress are tremendous, but Americans are making it clear they want healthcare to be a high priority on the national agenda.
In a national survey released Jan. 15 by Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, 43% of respondents said they view reforming healthcare as a top concern, ranking it third behind improving the economy at 73% and fighting terrorism at 48%.
We asked staff nurses from the Northwest and Southwest regions how they would advise the new president to improve the U.S. healthcare system:
More needs to be done to give incentives and possibly scholarships to future nurse educators, otherwise our future looks very bleak. With the aging nurse work force, more educators will retire. Who will teach our new nurses? I thMore needs to be done to give incentives and possibly scholarships to future nurse educators, otherwise our future looks very bleak. With the aging nurse work force, more educators will retire. Who will teach our new nurses? I think the Obama administration should look to create a program to attract more nurse educators to secure the future of the nursing profession.
– Laura Anderson, RN, BSN, CCRN
Phoenix Baptist Hospital
First and foremost, the Obama administration should be addressing the issue of little or no health insurance for the millions of Americans, including families, their children and the homeless, to name a few. As has been said, An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
– Patrick Cuff, RN
VA Puget Sound Health Care System
President Obama and his administration should … ensure that all children in the United States have access to preventative and maintenance medical and dental care. This should include federally funded education of our children in the classroom, via television through educational commercials as well as through their healthcare providers.
– Sally Farnum-Coryea, RN, CPN
Banner Children’s Hospital at Banner Desert Medical Center
With historic layoffs, fewer employers offering the benefit of health insurance and the rising cost of individual health insurance plans, many Americans are left uninsured. This crisis has led to fewer Americans receiving basic health care and an increase in the acuity of patients presenting for health care services. … Affordable health insurance needs to be the next administrations top priority!
– Kelly Fox, RN, BSN
University of Washington graduate student
The new administration must address access to and funding of nursing education programs as a vital [component] of healthcare reform. If we are unable to provide high quality education to both new and advancing nurses we will be woefully unprepared to meet the needs of all citizens when we achieve universal access.
– Valerie Lytle, RN, BSN
Swedish Medical Center
One of the first issues the Obama administration should focus on in 2009 is making affordable healthcare available to everyone. It is shameful that some of our citizens have a decreased life expectancy because they are unable to afford healthcare. It is not in our patients best interests to rely on the emergency department for basic healthcare.
– Linda McLagan, RN
Staff Nurse, Neurology Unit, Practice Council President