Print

RN Jobs >> Browse Articles >> Politics / Government

+15

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.


+15
  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    almost 6 years ago

    May sound pessimistic, but, I'll believe these changes when I can see them, and they are in effect, and I feel the difference in Nursing today. Everything looks great on paper, and sounds great as a promise!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    almost 6 years ago

    To me, all of these are just generalizations and really don't spell out anything he intends to do. This is no different than what anyone else has said.
    The sad truth is nurses (who are in general "people-pleasers") want to sit around a let someone "Save" us. The only ones who can really save us IS US. We need to stand up for ourselves.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Jenny65

    almost 6 years ago

    48 comments

    Thanks Obama!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Riverdog

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I appreciate any help President Elect Obama gives to our profession, but I agree with VIXEN007 that we nurses need to maintain our independence as nurse advocates and I agree with VIXEN007 that doctors and nurses need to be very active in determining the future of healthcare. I also agree with Kulelski that we need to hear other perspecives, bipartisan and even opposing, as our nation decides the future of our healthcare system. I have seen socialized healthcare in other nations; some not so great and some deplorable. Lets be smart.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    jmtwl

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    my sincere thanks to mr obama , i lived in a country that practice social medicine for seven years
    and it allows everyone access to superb medical care. All it takes is that every one make a contribution to a national insurance,that the government owned and pay for their sick and ailing needs when it is becomes nescessary No out of pocket expense. If it works for a country larger than ours it will work for us. it will cut out the health insurance and rip off doctors monopoly that play games with peoples'life to line their own pockets. as an RN for more than 40 years i do not beleive there is a shortage of nurses, i think once you become a nurse you just dont die the next day then creating a shortage these Nurses are out there, but the system make you over work, gain less respect ,so nurses move to different career where there are respected and not so burned out.thus creating this shortage.To make nursing an interesting career again the nurse to patient ratio.the increase in scholar ship funds loan repayment more affordable will need careful planning and implementing making those nurses out there want to come back or new people want to come and join in caring for suffering humanity

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    ItsGreatToBeANurse

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    It is wonderful to have a President who is advocating and giving diligent thought to our health care situation. There needs to be more thought also put into the nursing school situation. How can more instructors be brought aboard to teach, so there won't be such a "waiting period" to get into school. Plus, look into the curriculums being taught. Nurses must remember, this is an occupation of serving others, not just drawing big salaries and deligating the workload out to those less credentialed; ie pct's, cna's and nursing assistants. There is a lot of work to be done. The President can't do it all. There needs to be a concerted effort by all involved, to review the process, review the goals to be achieved, and then begin a plan to implement the necessary tools to achieve and make it a great environment for all involved.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    WeekendWarriorATL

    almost 6 years ago

    62 comments

    Lilbit who said anything about Universal Health care? Obama's plan has clearly been to offer insurance to those who cannot obtain it. Having insurance and seeking health care is vrey different from Univeral Health Care which I am totally for by the way, but that's another discussion. I see this helping nurses IF people buy into the plan.

  • Dsc_0067_max50

    lilbit5

    almost 6 years ago

    6 comments

    Universal Healthcare won't help nurses get paid more, which will only decrease the attractiveness of the career, which will increase the shortage. Making a LOWER nurse-to-patient ration. Great going Obama. It also means more money out of our pockets to pay our own patient's hospital bills. This sucks. But I am looking forward to see if he actually follows through with the promise to increase scholarship funds and loan repayments. : /

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    sagehoney2000

    almost 6 years ago

    8 comments

    I think President Obama will do his best to keep all his promises in a perfect world nursing would never be understaffed, I have been a nurse forever lol, never have I had such hope for our future. Who else has promised or even tried to help our profession. I am thankful for this change and if we all work together our futures will be bright and hopeful. To my fellow nurses: you are all great people.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    cherrie

    almost 6 years ago

    10 comments

    I am an RN. I have worked in LTC from CNA to DON; my opinion is; the Administrator's should have to be an RN, prior to becoming an Administrator. Their number one is, first Money then patient care. Nurses is first: Patient care, then budget. As long as nursing homes have been in exsistence no one still wants to go there, mainly our of fear and neglect. We as Americans should be ashamed! Good luck Obama; I am hopeful again. Thanks

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    VIXEN007

    almost 6 years ago

    38 comments

    If he is on your side, or on the side of nurses, then what has he really done? He makes speeches and promises and will no doubt attempt to "liberalize" healthcare. I don't have any insurance right now. I have an HSA. I brush and floss daily and wear my seatbelt. I am totally against socialized medicine. Look at California. They are going bankrupt because of their healthcare policies. The CHIP/SCHIP program has been in place for years. There are adults who are on this program that was intended for kids.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    VIXEN007

    almost 6 years ago

    38 comments

    I must be one of the few who refuses to drink the "Obama kool-aid." He says exactly what you want to hear. But, if you look more closely, the emperor is not wearing any clothes. How can you delegate your advocacy to him? It is your responsibility as a nurse to advocate for your patients. I have seen nurses "go to the mat" for patients and yet refuse to voice their concerns to management. No one knows better than you what you need. No one owes you anything. If you delegate advocacy, you are placing your livelihood in someone else's hands. I refuse to do that. I can advocate for myself. There is enough waste in the system to pay nurses for their art and science and judgement. I understand finance, economics and the nursing process. Put more nurses and MDs in charge and get the bureaucrats out of healthcare!

  • Sunsetbeach_max50

    katelle135

    almost 6 years ago

    4 comments

    Yet another Obama miracle :) We as a nation so desperately need him.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    kuhelski

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    If nurses practice the right way to lift patients they won't have to worry about back injuries. I've worked in health care for many years and never had a problem. Another issue I want to raise is with federal ran health care (welfare) will the pay continue going up for nurses? If you look at any govt. funded health clinics they are usually under staff mostly do to low wage. Its hard to take this article seriously since the source comes from Obama supporters. Post something that is written by a bipartisan group.

  • Img00220_max50

    bestnurse1

    almost 6 years ago

    10 comments

    Whooaaa..Thanks Obama!

NursingLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a nursing or healthcare degree program. Use NursingLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.