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Bring in the nurses—Stat


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There’s no doubt that hardworking nurses represent the very backbone of American healthcare. So why is it that we see so few nurses at the head, on hospital boards and commissions?

In a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette op-ed, two healthcare professionals explored the absence of nurses from healthcare boards and commissions, making a case for change:

Some of the largest health care systems in America do not have any nurses serving on their boards of directors. That is a huge oversight, especially in a time of rapid change in health care delivery, when consumers and providers would benefit from having nurses’ frontline perspective present in boardrooms as health care policy decisions are made.

Last month, nurse leaders from 21 national nursing and other health-related organizations came together to change that. The nursing leaders launched the national Nurses on Boards Coalition, which has a goal to put 10,000 nurses on boards of corporate and nonprofit health care organizations by 2020.

The effort is a direct response to the Institute of Medicine’s call in 2010 for nurses to play more pivotal decision-making roles on boards and commissions in improving the health of all Americans.

And the argument is…

With federal health care reform, health care providers are in the midst of reworking care delivery to make it more accessible, accountable and affordable, while putting an emphasis on prevention and primary care. Nurses already play a huge role on the front lines. It’s time they begin playing a role in the boardroom, too, bringing both their practical sensibilities and view of patient care experiences to the table.

Want to check out the full story? Hop on over to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to continue reading. Then, in the comments section below, share your opinion about the need for more nurses in decision-making roles.

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