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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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    alexandra11

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Can anybody explain me the "obamamania"? It seems like thousands of people are hypnotized with Obama, regardless of what he is really worth. What do you mean OBAMA IS ONE OF MY INSPIRATIONS TO GO INTO NURSIN????? What the heck has president to do with YOUR PROFFESSION??? He is only suppose to PROTECT OUR LIBERTIES and CONSTITUTION, instead he is about to serve us a plate full of socialism. Or rather the echelons above him because he has no idea how to make the "change" happen, he is only a puppet. We hear him speaking of "change" but if he is ever explaing how he is gonna do it it's unclear and shady and full of socialism and taking our rights away!!! open your eyes people under a spell!!!!!!

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    BarbLu

    almost 6 years ago

    6 comments

    Hope it happens!

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    bookishfilly

    almost 6 years ago

    58 comments

    We shall see.

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    1RNBSN2B

    almost 6 years ago

    10 comments

    This will be great for our hospital, especially the Nurse to patient ratio. Sometimes census has been so high that some nurses had to take 8 patients! That is unsafe for patients and very unfair for the nurses.

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    Account Removed

    almost 6 years ago

    This article makes you hope and pray that it will all be true. We'll just have to wait and see.

    As for Obama inspiring you to become a nurse....I just don't get that one. Maybe you can enlighten me aichausa.

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    tgatto

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I hope and pray all of this goes into effect. I am an unemployed RN due to the economy and all of the healthcare layoffs, this will benefit all!

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    Taga

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I agree with what lilbit 5 says, most people that go into nursing are not in it for the money, but because they care.
    Saying that, nurses need a decent wage and if Barack can provide this then I'm sure we will have more people enter into the nursing workforce.
    Short staffed and under paid makes for accidents waiting to happen. Staff are tired but need to work the extra hours just to make a living wage.
    If Barack is true to his word then both the nurses, patients and the elderly in N/Homes will benefit from this, although it will take some time. Let's hope and pray for all.

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    dimimak

    almost 6 years ago

    28 comments

    Proan. God intervene's through inspiration, not printing dollars and making everyone dependent on people who persue power. That is slavery. God also gave us free will. with that comes the responsibility to make choices and live/learn from the results

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    dimimak

    almost 6 years ago

    28 comments

    Come on people. Always consider the source of your "news". As nurses, we are critical thinkers every day. Why is is that we tend to leave it in the workplace" when we listen to politicians and their minions. Nurses for Obama/Obama for America wrote this article. I've been to countries with socialized healthcare such as Canada, Greece, and GB. Not impressed. Several common denominators too many to list. Remember when we used to look upon the USSR as a backwards country with a population of unmotivated "workers" who had no hope of a standard of living anywhere near ours. Does anyone think that maybe socialism had a role to play. I'm just sayin'.....

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    hockeynpolo

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    My question is, where will he get all of the money, resources, and personel to carry out all of his "promises?" Opposing mandatory overtime requires more nurses to be available to cover those shifts. Nurses that we don't have. Ensuring adaquate staffing levels means finding more nurses and more money to pay those nurses. Both things we don't have. And having adequate staffing levels in departments such as the ER is next to impossible because you are either severely over staffed (not much is going on) or you are severely under staffed (holy hell is breaking lose). Protecting nurses' labor rights (i.e. Labor Unions) may sound like a wonderful thing, up until the labor unions take advantage of their privileges, and start demanding un-godly amount of time off and salary increases. I may sound pecimistic, but that's because I have seen and delt with all of the things I have previously stated. As both a nurse and a manager, I have personally witnessed mulitple nurses taking advantage of sick leave, overtime, and tardiness. I also know how much money and personel hospitals have, and in this current economy, hospitals are losing so much money because people are losing their jobs. Less money = less opprotunities for hospitals to hire nurses or doctors = less health care. There is also such a nursing shortage yet a high drop out rate in nursing school. Making this field more desirable won't attract the right people to the field. Nursing is a passion, a way of life. I believe in order to be a nurse, you have to have a true calling to be one. There are too many people in nursing school who are in it just because. They don't have an interest in anything else so they decided to try nursing. When you falsely advertise how great nursing is, you'll attract people who don't really want to be nurses, and as a result, the quality of nursing will decrease. I can go on and on but I'll stop there. I'm keeping good thoughts for the new President, but I won't be surprised when that stuff doesn't happen, or gets tied up in Congress.

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    dimimak

    almost 6 years ago

    28 comments

    always consider the source. Nurses for Obama? doubt they would use "critical thinking" to dissect his plan. Does anyone thing socialized healthcare is a great idea? I've been overseas and to Canada. Not impressed with facilities or healthcare provider's compensation/attitudes.
    Come on people.

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    mitchellamm

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I'm so excited about Barack as President. I start nursing school in June of this year (summer sem.). I'm 30 years old, married, and have two boys. It's nice to know that the President cares.

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    aichausa

    almost 6 years ago

    98 comments

    Barack is one of my ispirations to go into nursing. I begin my first day of nursing school on the 21st of Jan, '09. Thank you, Mr. President!

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    Proann

    almost 6 years ago

    4 comments

    U know u are right Saltairsnun45, everything looks good on paper, but i believe he is going to do what he promised. We just have to put him into prayers for God's intervention over this country America

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    nks43

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I am simply glad that we have a president who's addressed our issues, in an organized fashion...it is up to US to make sure that our new president lives up to those promises...and by that I mean we need to write letters and organize ourselves more professionally before this profession is dominated by foreign nurses, our backs have given out, and we are burnt from doing way too much overtime...NO ONE PERSON CAN EFFECTUATE THIS TYPE OF CHANGE SOLELY--- IT MUST BE AN ORGANIZED, GROUP EFFORT...at least our leader agrees with us and isn't only interested in war and making money on oil...Thank You JESUS for giving us President Obama....especially after the Bush Dynasty...

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