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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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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    caprice

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Barak Obama Health Care Plan for Nurses

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    Kingdomwarrior612

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Yeah, the difference between an LPN and CNA is not simply meds. I say this as a CNA. I wouldn't want their job without the extra training. However, I don't really see how Obama is simply going to snap his fingers and make more nurses. I think part of the problem with nursing and the lack has to do with a lack of nurse educators, and a lack of ability for programs to expand to hold the number of potential nurses that are applying at this time. The nursing programs in every area I have lived or worked (I recently moved from PA to OR, and the nursing programs are no less competitive. And by competitive, I mean that it is either by a point or lottery system as to whom gets into clinicals or not. Not because there isn't interest.

    The other problem is with "safe and sufficient" staffing levels. How exactly are you going to prevent staff from calling off, from no-showing, especially at the CNA level? Don't get me wrong. I have worked with a bunch of awesome CNAs. But I've also worked with and seen some extremely shady ones that are in it because it pays money (nothing wrong with that) but they don't care about the fact that they are dealing with human lives. If I don't show up to work, someone is going to be neglected, or not changed enough, and eventually will probably develop pressure ulcers, get an infection, and die. Am I pushing the envelope on this one? Maybe, maybe not. It certainly happens though. All it takes is one time. Then one more time. Then one more time. And so on. You get the point. I want to be a nurse, but I don't see Obama magically alleviating these problems, although that would be really nice. And again, LPNs do much more than CNA work + pills.

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    M60802

    over 5 years ago

    10 comments

    shynalide they make it so difficult because you are dealing with HUMAN LIVES!!!! and that requires only the best and brightest to heed the calling. If you dont have what it takes to tough it out in nursing school then pursue other options. Nursing school will not get easier only harder and there is a lot more to being an LPN than passing pills. A cna has a very narrow scope of practice. I appreciate the help I get from cna's and I encourage them to go to nursing school.

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    raz

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Hockeynpolo I couldn't agree with you more! Nursing IS a calling, and there are already too many that have come into it just because, not because they FELT it, and while that might sound corny, you think about if you want a nurse who just is there to get a paycheck, or if you want a nurse who practices from what comes from within her/him....If you are in ICU and you have a nurse who is just there for a job......NOT GOOD, you wouldn't want to be that nurse's patient! And I agree on the rest of what you said, you stated, EXACTLY what I was going to, so just going to say DITTO hockeynpolo

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    shynalide

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    why and how you think they have a nursing shortage? They make it so difficult for someone to become even LPN. The requirements as if you going to be a doctor. What is the difference between a CNA and LPN? As a CNA you just can't administer med's to a patient. Let's be for real now

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    raymoss1

    over 5 years ago

    220 comments

    Go Obama.

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    Account Removed

    over 5 years ago

    I didn't vote for him, but I hope he does a good job for our country.

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    mandrw72

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Government intervention is not the answer, it is the problem! Obama is trying to open medicaid and medicare to the general public. Believe me this is the first steps to socialized medicine. Ask anyone who is on one of these programs if they are happy about it. How about ask someone from say... England if they are happy about the healthcare there. Don't forget the tax money it will take to fund these programs. Be sure to look at the cars that are driven by the people at the medicaid office and the cell phone calls they are getting. While they are driving a Lexus with a $4000.00 stereo that rattles the windows of my modest Ford P.O.S. I am working like a dog trying to care for these people and their multiple children at the hospital I work in. My tax dollars at work I suppose. Do you really think that they will be able to fund these programs without new taxes?

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    angels_CCC

    over 5 years ago

    26 comments

    Universal healthcare is such a bad idea. The idea behind it is good, in that everyone gets healthcare, but what good does it do if people die or suffer more standing in line to get what they need? Not to mention the quality of care and number of available health care providers also decline. Don't believe everything you hear...universal healthcare is not a good idea-it will only make problems worse, especially with the current economy. The health profession has to be a business...in order for healthcare services to exist in the first place-money doesn't just appear when you need it to. I hope that someday we are able to strike a balance between the business side and patients' needs. Obama has a lot of passion but I also think he is naiive. He is making a lot of promises that he can't keep or is going to spread himself thin trying to keep them.

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    ahmir33

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Im not a nurse as of yet with a year to go its very promising im glad that he's interested in taking care of home before trying to clean up someone elses.

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    FutureNurse2009

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Alright someone tune the violin for nightengale09.

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    Account Removed

    over 5 years ago

    im a Filipino nurse whose really putting a lot of effort to land a job in the US. I just hope that President Obama will also lift the retrogression of nurses here in the Philippines.

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    nightengale09

    over 5 years ago

    6 comments

    My desire is still strong to be a nurse....Rn.....Nurse practitioner.......help the homeless, go oversees....do missionary work!!!!!! I'm 43 years old!!! and is mad as hell. I may not be an A student but I know that I could be an A nurse!!!! Is there any money out there to help me pay for this last semester of school. Help!!!!! Pls don't even let me tell my story. Oh by the way I love my family and I am struggling hard to help them because they were extremely supportive of me in my studies. Now I have 2 teenager girls to send off to college 1 this year whom I adopted my niece after my sister was found to be on drugs and our daughter. I could cry but what good is that gonna do.....I feel like a failure....so close but no cigar. I finally found my passion. I found it.

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    nightengale09

    over 5 years ago

    6 comments

    This is great especially about the part of shortage of nurses and trying to get young adults to go in this field. However, like myself some school require that you take and pass the HESI exam to exit the program in order to take the boards. Some schools require different scores to pass like anywhere from 800 or better. My school requires that you have a 870 to pass. The first time I scored a 575 the second time a 858 guess what?? Now I have to audit to repeat my entire senior year over and have only 1 more chance to take the Hesi exam. I don't have anymore money, hoping that I was going to have a new job, new occupation in 2009, in order to help my husband out with the bills with 5 children. Lost my job of 21yrs taking a leave of absence in order to return back to the renowned hospital that I dedicated my life to and bore 4 children to be relieved of my duties unknowningly on the date when I was to report back to work. Calls my school after failing Hesi the second time to find out that 3 people want to get in but only one chair is available. What do you do when all your money is gone.

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    thenurseisin

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Wow it sounds like a load of crap to me. Where exactly are we finding all these nurses so that there is no overtime and less patients per nurse? Interesting idea, not plausible though. Last time I checked our economy is in the crapper so once again where are we getting all the money for these changes to occur? I must agree with the puppet statement of Obama. He can talk the talk but only time will tell if he can back it up with anything.

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