President Obama speaks to the American Nurses Association


President Obama spoke to the American Nurses Association’s House of Delegates yesterday. He thanked the ANA  for their committment to healthcare reform and shared some personal views and anecdotes as well. Some highlights:

  •  “When Malia was born, I remember vividly the nurses who took care of Michelle and our new baby.  The doctor who delivered is actually one of our best friends, but she was there about 10 minutes.  And the nurse was there the whole time tending to this new family of ours. “
  • “America’s nurses are the beating heart of our medical system.”
  • “You are on the front lines of health care in small clinics and in large hospitals, in rural towns and in big cities, all across America.  And it’s because you know our health care system so well that you’ve been such a fierce advocate for its reform. “
  • “I don’t have to tell you that nurses all too often have been given short shrift.  Even amidst a nursing shortage, when there are cutbacks, you feel the squeeze in salaries or the reduction in shifts —- despite being overworked and underpaid.  And, as you know, this disregard goes beyond numbers on a ledger.  There have been a bunch of times, I’m sure, when the service you rendered is thought to be less consequential or valuable than that of other professions.  That’s what has to change. “
  • “ We’re seeking to elevate and value the work that you do, because throughout our history, nurses have done more than provide care and comfort to those in need.  Often with little power or sway on their own, nurses — mostly women, historically -— have been a force of will and a sense of common decency, and paved the way towards better care and a more compassionate society.”
  • “ Your jobs are tough.  Your days can be stressful and exhausting and sometimes thankless.  But through long shifts and late nights -— in the hectic scrum of the emergency room, or in those quiet acts of humanity -— you are saving lives, you are offering solace, you’re helping to make us a better nation.  And my task as President —- our task as a people —- is to ensure that our health care system is worthy of your efforts.”

What do you think of the President’s comments?


Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN
Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.

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