Healthcare worker in full PPE caring for COVID-19 patient in ICU

ANA Supports New Healthcare Provider Protection Act, and More Nursing News

Healthcare worker in full PPE caring for COVID-19 patient in ICU

The American Nurses Association (ANA) announces its support of the recent passage of a new healthcare provider protection act. The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) announces a scholarship program to address the nursing shortage. Five nurses are among those credited with creating an innovative tool to help care for patients in ambulatory infusion clinics. A podcast explores topics important to nursing today. Read on for more nursing news and insights.

ANA supports new healthcare provider protection act

The American Nurses Association (ANA) has announced its support of the recent passage of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act by the United States Senate. According to ANA officials, the legislation will help reduce and prevent mental and behavioral health conditions, suicide, and burnout among all healthcare professionals, but especially those like nurses who continue to be overwhelmed by the COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

The bipartisan legislation will reportedly direct $140 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to train current and future health professionals on how to prevent suicide, burnout, and substance use disorders. Key provisions in the bill will establish a national evidence-based education and awareness initiative to encourage healthcare professionals to seek support and care for their mental health and substance use concerns.

This initiative will also teach healthcare professionals how to identify and respond to the risk factors associated with suicide, mental health issues, and substance use disorders while reducing the stigma associated with seeking help for them.

A reporting mandate also requires the secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services to provide an update on the progress of this initiative to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives no later than two years after the bill is enacted.

The bill is named for Breen, who supervised the emergency department at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital in Upper Manhattan. In April of 2020, Dr. Breen tragically committed suicide after being consumed by feelings of helplessness and despair while treating COVID-19 patients, even contracting the disease herself.

“Nurse advocates sent over 6,300 emails to Congress in support of this bill,” said Dr. Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, president of the ANA, in a prepared statement. “Nurses know that the damaging after-effects of the pandemic will linger long after they have intubated their final COVID-19 patients and grieved the loss of colleagues and loved ones. An investment in the mental health of our nursing workforce is an investment in the future of the American healthcare system. Simply put, without a healthy and whole nursing workforce, we will be unable to meet the ever-growing needs of our patients and deploy successful COVID-19 response efforts. The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act is a good first step in what will be a years-long process of caring for those who have long cared for us.”

A survey conducted by the American Nurses Foundation in February reportedly found an increase in mental anguish among all nurses, with nearly 40% of respondents reporting feelings of depression. More than 57% reported feeling anxious and irritable, more than 60% were overwhelmed, and 72% felt exhausted.

Learn more about mental health in the nursing community in the course, Assessment and Prevention of Suicide for Healthcare Professionals.

NAHN announces scholarship program to address nursing shortage

The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) and the organization have collaborated to establish a scholarship program known as Hispanic Star Nurse Heroes. 

According to officials, the program is dedicated to fighting the shortage of nurses while creating opportunities for Latinas in the healthcare industry and their families. A $150,000 donation will fund the tuition of 20 future nurses, providing each scholarship awardee with $7,500 to cover tuition. The goal is to cover the education costs for 1,000 Latinas studying to become nurses and to raise $7.5 million from partners to cover tuition expenses.

While more than 18% of the U.S. population identifies as Hispanic, Hispanic nurses account for only 4.6% of nurses according to the NAHN, a national, nonprofit organization with a membership of more than 45 chapters and 1,700 individual members across the U.S.

Explore strategies to combat burnout in the course, Nurse Resilience in the Age of COVID-19.

Nurses attempt to solve ambulatory cancer care challenges

Five nurses are among those professionals credited with creating an innovative tool to help care for patients in ambulatory infusion clinics, as well as to address ineffective nursing resources across the United States.

Ready, Set, Go! is a “total infusion dashboard solution” developed as part of an annual contest hosted by the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS). The program is intended for three different user groups: physicians, nurse leaders, and infusion center staff, according to the ONS.

Each dashboard displays important variables based on priority in the ambulatory care setting. The system reduces wait time for patients to begin infusions, which improves workflows, standardizes the order process, decreases provider interruptions, and ultimately eliminates preventable unsigned orders.

Nurses among the group include Lisa Cusaac, RN, MSN, OCN, director of patient care services at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC; Mary Shields, RN, MS, OCN, clinical senior nurse manager at City of Hope, Duarte, CA; Sunny Stirling, PhD, MBA, RN, OCN, CMSRN, program manager of oncology clinical informatics at Sharp Healthcare, San Diego, CA; Nancy Hampton-Jones, DNP, APRN, AOCNS, AGCNS-BC, neurosurgery manager and infusion center manager with Premier Physician Network, Dayton, OH; and Alice Catches, BSN-RN, OCN, medical oncology clinical coordinator with Sibley Memorial Hospital, Washington, DC.

The team is expected to submit the dashboard as an abstract for the annual ONS Congress in April.

Podcast spotlight: Here in Nursing

The Here in Nursing podcast, offered by the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for Nurses, is hosted by nurses who explore topics important to nursing today.

Recent episodes include, “Study Finds Nurses’ Physical, Mental Health Connected To Preventable Medical Errors”; “Coming Full Circle: From Caring for OSU’s First COVID-19 Patient to Giving Shots of Hope for the Community”; and “Nurses and Community Service: Work That Fuels the Soul.”

The podcast is available online.

Views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Elite Learning or Colibri Group. Media referenced in this news round-up does not constitute an endorsement.