The American Nurses Association (ANA) announces its support of a requirement for employers to better protect nurses from COVID-19 hazards. The National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) will host its Annual Institute and Conference Aug. 4-8 online. A commemorative coin is being awarded to the International Council of Nurses (ICN) member national nursing associations and board of directors. A podcast uses expert interviews from an array of hospital staff to answer common nursing questions. Read on for more nursing news and insights.
ANA supports OSHA’s new COVID protection plan
Officials with the American Nurses Association (ANA) have announced its advocacy for and support of a requirement for employers to better protect nurses from COVID-19 hazards in the work environment.
The Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) is an initiative of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that requires employers to provide better protections for nurses by developing and implementing plans to identify and control COVID-19 hazards in the workplace. Nurses who care directly for patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 must also be protected by approved respirators, which include single-use N95 respirators, elastomeric respirators, and powered air-purifying respirators (PAPR).
Employers must also provide gloves, gowns, and eye protection to nurses. This requirement applies regardless of the nurses’ vaccination status, according to the ANA. Employers are also required to screen healthcare personnel daily for COVID-19, to provide COVID-19 tests at no charge to the employee, and to support employees to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.
The ETS also empowers nurses to advocate for meaningful safety improvements during the duration of the emergency standard, as well as providing whistleblower protections for employees who raise safety concerns.
“While ANA is pleased that OSHA took the rare step to issue this new emergency standard, it is long overdue as nurses have been — and continue to be — at high risk for exposure to COVID-19.” said Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, president of the ANA, in a prepared statement. “ANA has been calling for specific safety protections from COVID-19 since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and while this ETS is beneficial, it is not a replacement for a permanent standard with strong respiratory protections, which remains a necessity. According to OSHA’s own materials, by the end of May 2021 nearly 492,000 healthcare personnel had contracted COVID-19 and more than 1,600 had died. More must be done to protect our nation’s nurses and frontline healthcare workers from the ravages of this pandemic.”
Except for a few requirements, OSHA expects employers to comply with the ETS as of July 6. Nurses are able to comment on it through July 21. ANA encourages nurses and healthcare personnel to learn about the new requirements and to understand how to report violations by visiting OSHA’s website.
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NBNA plans milestone conference virtually
The National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) will host its Annual Institute and Conference Aug. 4-8 online. The theme of this year’s conference is “Celebrating 50 Years of Innovative Community Service, Practice, Education, and Research in Nursing.”
According to NBNA officials, more than 1,000 nurses and nursing students will attend the conference. Registration is available online.
“Although we will not be in Dallas this year, we are ecstatic to celebrate this momentous time in NBNA history virtually,” said Dr. Martha A. Dawson, president and chief executive officer of the NBNA. “We know that our nurses are experiencing an incredibly unique time in their lives during this recent pandemic and NBNA wants to ensure that all participants have the ability to attend the 49th Annual Institute and Conference.”
In addition, the NBNA is recognizing and honoring 12 Presidential Awardees chosen for their extraordinary contributions in nurse leadership, academia, research, practice, and administration, and Trailblazer Awardees:
- U.S. Rep Eddie Bernice Johnson
- Dr. Gaurdia Banister
- Peggy Pettit, RN
- Carolyn TenEyck, RN
- U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood
- U.S. Rep. Cori Bush
- Curtis Weber, RN
- Laurie Reid, MSN, RN
- Dr. Jennifer Coleman
- Dr. Cynthia Barginere
- Dr. Julius Johnson
International Council Of Nurses, WHO issue commemorative nurses’ coin
A commemorative coin is being awarded to the International Council of Nurses (ICN) member national nursing associations and board of directors by the ICN and World Health Organization (WHO) to thank these professionals for their service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The coins were designed by Kallooa Bagooaduth, former ICN board member, and signed by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus, the WHO’s director general, and Annette Kennedy, president of the ICN.
The coins also mark the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.
“The backbone of every health system, nurses provide care and treatment throughout the lifespan, in every part of the world, in every setting, reaching the most vulnerable and needy,” said Tedros, in a prepared statement. “I pay tribute to all those nurses who lost their lives while performing their duties. Thank you to all nurses who continue to work for the health of all.”
The celebrations of nursing and midwifery were overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which thrust the health professions into the spotlight in unexpected ways. Nurses across the world fought the pandemic with incredible strength and determination and cared for patients through the worst of times, often being the only people by their sides in their final moments. Nurses battled on the frontlines of the pandemic, often with no or inadequate protection, under-staffed, under-resourced and underpaid, according to the ICN.
“Sadly, we lost many of our colleagues to this pandemic, and they must never be forgotten,” said Annette Kennedy, in a prepared statement. “I hope that this small token of this special year will remind you not only of those sacrifices, but also of the strength, determination and dedication of all nurses.”
Podcast spotlight: Up My Nursing Game!
An educational series for the bedside nurse, the Up My Nursing Game! podcast uses expert interviews from an array of hospital staff to answer common nursing questions and pitfalls.
Hosted by Annie Fulton, RN, BSN, PCCN, a nurse since 2014 with experience in medical-oncology, emergency, and intermediate care, the podcast aims to improve nursing practice while using knowledge sharing and friendly conversation to break down barriers that exist between nurses and hospital staff.
The most recent episode discusses patients who require transportation and the science of transport: what it’s like in the ambulance, and what bedside nurses can do to facilitate safe transport.
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.