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How Barack Obama Will Affect Nurses

How Barack Obama Will Affect Nurses

NursesForObama.com / Obama for America

January 16, 2009


Barack Obama has been a consistent champion of America’s nurses. As an Illinois state senator, Barack Obama chaired the Senate Committee on Public Health and helped lead efforts to protect Illinois nurses and improve the quality of health care throughout Illinois. As a U.S. senator, Obama serves on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee where he has continued his long record of advocacy for America’s nurses.

NURSES’ RIGHTS

Oppose Mandatory Overtime: Barack Obama believes supporting nurses in the workplace leads to better health care outcomes. Numerous reports have demonstrated the importance of proper workplace protections for nurses and other medical professionals for ensuring that patients receive the highest-quality care and reducing preventive medical errors. In the Illinois State Senate, Obama worked to ensure that nurse-staffing levels and work conditions were subject to public review so that hospitals and other facilities implemented strong pronurse, pro-patient policies. In the U.S. Senate, Obama is a cosponsor and advocate of the Safe Nursing and Patient Care Act of 2007 which would limit mandatory overtime to true emergency situations. As president, Obama will sign this legislation into law.

Ensure Safe and Adequate Staffing Levels: As chairman of the Illinois State Senate Committee on Public Health, Obama led efforts in Illinois to ensure that health care facilities implement safe staffing levels for nurses and adequate nurse-to-patient ratios. Obama’s Hospital Report Card Act, which provided requirements on safe staffing levels, was signed into Illinois law. In the U.S. Senate, Obama built on his record of success and introduced the Hospital Quality Report Card Act, a bill that requires reporting of staffing levels for nurses which will help to ensure that the number of nurses is consistent with the types of care needed by the patients and the capabilities of the staff. Obama’s universal health plan also includes a provision requiring health care facilities to monitor issues such as nurse-patient ratios. Obama’s health care reform plan supports inclusion and expanded reimbursement for advanced practice registered nurses.

Protect Nurses’ Labor Rights: Barack Obama has fought the Bush National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) efforts to strip workers of their right to organize. He is a cosponsor and strong advocate of the Re- Empowerment of Skilled and Professional Employees and Construction Tradeworkers (RESPECT) Act, which will overturn the NLRB’s “Kentucky River” trilogy of decisions classifying hundreds of thousands of nurses, construction and professional workers as “supervisors” who are not protected by federal labor law. Obama also believes that the Bush NLRB’s decisions could put too many nurses – over 800,000 nurses cross the country – at risk of losing their rights to organize and bargain collectively simply because they participate in modern managerial approaches like team production or direct others’ work as part of their professional responsibilities. The RESPECT Act reaffirms Congress’ original intent to exclude from the National Labor Relation Act’s protections only supervisors truly vested with managerial responsibilities.

Bring More Americans into the Nursing Profession: The nursing workforce shortage ranks as one of the most pressing issues facing our health care system. Nurses play a critical role in every aspect of patient care and also serve as administrators and executives in clinical and policy settings. Yet, too many young adults are choosing not to enter the nursing profession, and a significant number of current nurses are switching careers or retiring early. Barack Obama will improve working conditions including limiting mandatory overtime, improving nurse-to-patient ratios, providing additional support to training and incentive programs, and continuing to recognize and support nurses’ right to organize. In addition, Obama supports reauthorization of Title VIII training programs with greater financial incentives for students and nurse faculty, including scholarships and loan repayment. Obama also supports adequate funding of the Nurse Reinvestment Act. In the Illinois State Senate, Obama sponsored legislation and voted to increase funding for nursing scholarships.

Implement Assistive Patient Handling Technology to Improve Nurse Safety: Six of the top ten occupations at highest risk for back injuries are in health care, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nurses are at high risk for sustaining back injuries, which are most likely to occur when moving a patient. Barack Obama believes it is critically important to implement “safe lift” and other assistive technologies to protect nurses from preventable injury. Barack Obama will expand and accelerate research to identify novel and innovative technologies and determine which are the most effective for various medical settings. He will also provide federal financial and technical assistance to hospitals, nursing and long-term care facilities to employ effective assistive technologies and will direct the Occupational Health and Safety Administration to implement meaningful standards that protect nurses from injury related to patient care.


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    tiburongirl22

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I really hope that this comes into action soon. Many schools are not giving students a good enough chance of getting in to their nursing programs by setting a small limit to the amount of people they will accept. This leaves people with adequate scoring and grading with nowhere to go. If there is really a shortage in the nursing field, more people should be given a chance. Who knows, they could help save someone's life.

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    rndrew01

    almost 6 years ago

    132 comments

    My comment is for fasnet. There is a huge shortage of nursing instructors,one of the reasons is of course-pay. Nurses have to be at the right point of their life to accept the pay but it is very rewarding to see the students grow and flourish with your knowledge. The criteria to get in to programs are getting tougher and tougher and unfortunately tuition is getting higher and higher and there is also the problem for students to obtain loans for their education. While making sure nurses are protected with safe staffing levels,etc which I clearly agree with ,education MUST be looked at so we can get more nurses...:))))

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    myloca2000

    almost 6 years ago

    6 comments

    It is interesting to note that the US hospitals are so short of nurses, yet when experienced educated foreign nurses offer their services it is such a hassle to get work permits. And if a work permit is granted the foreign nurses are compensated far less pay than some new grads without much experience

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    angienwgeorgia

    almost 6 years ago

    252 comments

    Staffing levels are dangerous. When an average RN on his/her unit has 5 patients, that does'nt sound too bad............it can be very doagle unless there is an incident of some kind. But what if 1 of those 5 must have 1 on 1 care due to ams, alzeimers, screams to where he/she keeps the floor awake, and is houdini to where he/she can get out of restraints; and 1 of your other patients has diarrhea and is bedbound, and one of those 5 is also a heparin drip with q 2 hr lab rechecks for ptt instability..........................and there is no tech/cna to help! Help us with staffing and for goodness sake, everybody treat our coworkers like gold and they need to be paid well.

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    Account Removed

    almost 6 years ago

    Every human being deserves good health care! At the same time however, medical personnel should be treated and paid well. This way more people will want to not only become nurses, etc. but also remain in the medical field.

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    fasnest

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I think Obama's plans for healthcare are excellent. It will certainly be a challlenge for him to accomplish this. Nationwide. I think that srucker made an interesting point about the fact that it isn't a lack of interest causing a nursing shortage, so much as a lack of intructors, school programs etc.
    Point taken, but here's the thing. The lack of instructors and nursing programs does indicate a shortage of nurses. If gifted smart future nurses were stampeding to the entrance of a great nursing shcool. The tuition revenue for the school would be so attractive that probably on every canpus we would see teaching staff for the nursing programs invrease hugely.

    Another factor is that the programs can be tretty tough and the well-intentioned freshman dpn't all endure through graduation. Liability fears are a deterrant as well.

    Obama's goal for streamlining coumputerized record keeping etc, well guve the RN more time for patient care and less tedious documentation issues will burden the nurse's day. Things will be b safer for patients and nurses. I say YAY!
    s

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    ernurse33803

    almost 6 years ago

    4 comments

    First off let me say i was hoping Hilary would eventually win the presidentcy, now that he isi n office..i think he will do some good things. However..it is up to us , the NURSES to make a difference. Get involved with states legislation,join the ANA..the larger the voice the more powerful the influence. We are responsible for what we are handed, when we unite as a group and push for pro nursing legislation..they wont have a choice but to listen.I think more hospitals should offer nursing programs...anyone remember the term and title diploma nurse. The hospital can train the nurses and get the money back by having the diploma nuses signing contracts to stay at the hospita for x amount of time...didnt mean to go off ona tangent..lol

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    salliewallie

    almost 6 years ago

    4 comments

    This article isn't even completely accurate! The statement that there are not enough people going into the nursing field is so untrue. "Too many young adults are choosing not to enter the nursing profession..." As a nursing major, I am SURROUNDED be students who are nursing majors as well. It is not that people are not going into the field, because plenty of people have nursing as their goal. There are not enough spaces in nursing schools for applicants because there are not enough nursing educators to handle this influx. Fix THAT!

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    Wndrmom62

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I agree with Mr. Obama. I am an undergraduate in Nursing an was refused to continue my LPN degree @ Rhode Island Community College. I was refused for I did not do well in my academics for I was caring for my mother with kidney cancer and was trying my best to study as well. But it was to much to take on at the time and I would like to continue my education at any College that will accept me into their LPN program. I only need to finish Nursing II to take my State Boards. I have seen the Dean of students and a hearing was conducted without my presence and it was voted that I could not return for I have taken Nursing II twice and the College I attended above has a school policy/rule that any student can only take a Nursing level program twice.

    Thank-you for your time. I hope someone can help me. Please contact me @ wndrmom62@yahoo.com only serious responses.

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    corinne

    almost 6 years ago

    4 comments

    I HAVE THE PASSION TO BECOME A LVN AND THEN WORKING MY WAY TO BECOMING A RN/LPN. BUT I HAVE YET TO FIND A SCHOOL.THE SCHOOLS THAT I HAVE FOUND ARE EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE!!! I WOULD HATE TO OWE 30 THOUSAND TO MY STATE. BEFORE I BUY MY DREAM CAR AND HOUSE. IF THERES OTHER WAYS AROUND IT, PLEASE LET ME KNOW! I AM ANXIOUS TO FOLLOW MY PASSION. FOR THE NURSES WHO LOVES WHAT THEY DO, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP BARACK IS ON HIS WAY. BUT FOR THE ONCES WHO ARE JUST IN IT FOR THE MONEY, I WILL PRAY FOR ALL OF YOU.

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    kntdav

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I've been an RN in hospital settings since 1993. As voiced before.......I do not see how you can fix staffing probelms when there are not enough nurses to go around. As a critical care staffing RN I work all areas of the hospital. In our area, the ER can attempt to go onto "divert" in order to try to keep the ambulances from bringing in more patients when the ER is filled to capicity (which is usually not less than 2X the amount of patient areas.......overflowing into the hall way seats and back rooms with stretchers filled with "admitted patients" and no bed to go to on the floor).......however, you cannot turn away "walk-ins" and/ or stop the ambulance from delivering when almost every hospital in the immediate area is on divert for the same reason. Several hospitals have closed their ER's completely in order to avoid this dangerous staffing situation..........however, this only adds to the other hosptials serious situation.
    Having worked in areas of Union and non union situations.........Even living through a few strike situations (which lasted into the 6 month realm)........we paid union dues, and often made less money per hour as non-union nurses...........and it did little to nothing for staffing problems.
    My husband has managed to keep a job with a very good health insurance benefits........but even with those benefits, I feel (even as a medical care provider) it is still difficult to navitate through what you have to do to get your bills paid and not have "balance billing" issues in the end..........thus, kind of keeping us from utilizing (as a family) the "great benefits" that we supposively have. As a matter of fact, with these benefits.......even as a nurse.........in 1998 I had a delayed diagnosis to a metastasizing Cancer due to the insurance issues (from the insurance I had through my hospital employer)............I don't see where Medicaid has it worse than patients with private insurances from where I work, or with my experience. There are so many doctors that go in and out of contract with the big health insurance companies due to the caps that they put on services that you are never sure that your bill will be paid in the end anyway (and each, the provider and the insurance company at the time tell you that the responsibility is on you to ask the other if they are "in network" at the time that service is provided........or you will pay out of pocket).......nobody wants to be responsible in that game. If you are the unfortunate minority........that actually is responsible to keep your family insured..........(if possible in this work environment at present) and also are carrying on your back the insurance for millions of others who feel that they have a right to great healthcare, just simply because they are an american - or worse........the billions of dollars in illegal alien care that they hosptials must obsorb, passing the responsibility onto the private insurances in order to keep the doors open. I agree......Nationalized health care is not the answer.......the government in many ways have failed to deal with the situation from the 70's with the DRG's...........through the dawn of the HMO's ...........to the present. What in the world will become of us if they have the entire health delivery system under their control?!! There is way too much corruption in Congress to come close to causing the system to move in a way that would put patients first. Look at every other area of life that they are now managing. It's all about the dollar, and where they can divert it.

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    veronicag

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I will be a RN soon, graduating in June. The hospitals are feeling the economic crunch from this terrible economy too and not taking as many new grads into residency programs. So now there are some that want to get out there and work but can't. Not only is there a need for more nursing educator's but also more help for new grads.

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    sandygail

    almost 6 years ago

    8 comments

    I was a CNA before I became an LPN. I have so much respect for CNA's and the job they do. I also encourage those who seem to have the "call" to go onto nursing school. I have had to work with CNA's and LPN's who are only in this field for the money. All I can say is that I pray that I will never be under their care.

    I am hoping that Pres. Obama will truly help nursing in the days to come by opening up more schools, instructors, etc to fill the gap in the nursing field. If this doesn't happen soon there will be a nursing shortage bigger than ever in history. I pray that he does understand the emergency status of our situation.
    I am so tired of having too many patients and not enough staff. I am tired of working double shifts and being exhausted before I even begin my work day from stress and lack of rest. I understand why some nurses and CNA's don't show up for their shifts. THEY ARE EXHAUSTED from overwork and being over-scheduled.
    I hope in the days ahead we see some light at the end of the tunnel. Otherwise another nurse is going to look for a new line of work

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    Mandy_28115

    almost 6 years ago

    374 comments

    Obama SUCKS!

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    vkarolyn

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    My daughter is a CNA who also works in a Dr's office. Because there are not enough teaches for the nrsuing profession..she has been unable to get into a nursing program in Illinois for 6 years. Here is a girl who really wants to be an RN but because she doesn't have a 4.0 never makes the classes of only 12-15 that our colleges accept beause of clinicals. She has now given up. She is tired of vomiting every time she gets turned down. No one should have to go through that. I sure wish President Obama could do something about the lack of nurse educators and be able to give everyone and equal chance and not use a so called lottery of who gets in.

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