Kathryn E. Roberts, RN, MSN, CNS, CCRN, CCNS, president of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, faced a roomful of nurses attending the 21st Century Visions of Nursing 9th Annual Regional Conference for Health Care Professionals at Christiana Care’s John H. Ammon Medical Education Center. She challenged her audience: “Dare to …”
Dare to what? That’s up to each of her listeners, she said.
“In each one of us, there is something we can do to make our optimal contribution to our patients, to our families and to ourselves,’’ said Roberts, who has made “Dare to …’’ the theme of her year as president.
With input from more than 200 nurses in the audience, a definition of daring emerged. It included bravery, the courage to step out of your comfort zone, taking a risk, speaking up and doing what you believe in, despite your fears.
“It made me think what my goals are and that I need to put the wheels in motion — to stop being afraid of what could happen and take some small steps,” said Carla Dimiris, RN, of Hockessin, Del. Dimiris, who teaches certified nursing assistants at the Delaware Skills Center, said her “dare-to’’ idea had been to go back to school for a higher degree in nursing. Now she’s thinking more seriously about it.
Her timing is right. Health care reform and an increasingly complex health care delivery system are creating an urgent need for more highly trained nurses, according to a 2010 report from the Institute of Medicine.
“It is predicted that with 32 million newly insured people (under the Affordable Care Act), by 2020 there will be 700,000 new nursing positions,’’ said Bonnie Osgood, MSN, RN-BC, NE-BC, manager of 4 Medical at Wilmington Hospital, president of the Delaware Nurses Association and co-lead of the Delaware Action Coalition. Osgood outlined the main recommendations of the Institute of Medicine report, “The Future of Nursing,” which focused on changes needed in nurses’ roles and responsibilities. In Delaware, she said, efforts to implement the report’s recommendations began with a task force that, in partnership with the Delaware Nurses Association and the Delaware Healthcare Association, became the Delaware Action Coalition.
The coalition is focusing on key areas: removing practice barriers, implementing residency programs, setting up statewide mentoring for nurses, improving data collection with the Delaware State Board of Nursing, and focusing on education opportunities that will boost the total of nurses with bachelor’s degrees to 80 percent by 2020.
“We’re working with the schools, so if a nurse starts in an associate degree program, they can seamlessly transition to a bachelor’s program,’’ Osgood said. More information is available from the Center to Champion Nursing in America.
Other topics during the two-day conference included the impact of preventable patient harm; how to defuse stress with humor and a good attitude; the threat of crime and terrorism in hospitals; and an update on drugs of abuse. The conference also included breakout sessions on 24 topics that included preventing falls in older adults, transplantation, cancer survival, herbal pharmacology and hypothermia.
The 10th annual 21st Century Visions of Nursing conference is scheduled for Sept. 12-13, 2013.