Nurses are emerging as heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it should come as no surprise. Those who choose a career in nursing put in long hours studying, taking tests and even more time getting practical experience to take part in this profession. Although many in the community already appreciated these hard-working professionals, the current pandemic has put a spotlight on the vital role of these healthcare professionals.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) recently announced it would join Al Roker in a special that highlights individual stories of nurses that are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. The organization has stated that in addition to sharing powerful stories of achievements in nursing care, it hopes its support of the special will result in positive legislative changes for the nursing community at large. The ANA hopes the special will lead to increased awareness of struggles within the nursing field and lead to an increase in policies that put investments towards nursing.
Is it realistic to expect positive legislative change?
Yes. Lawmakers have already made changes that impact nursing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the hope for additional positive change is not unfounded.
One recent example involves the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recent update to guidance to address disparity in treatment for minority populations. The announcement includes recognition of both short and long term needs to address the problem. Perhaps additional media attention will continue to drive positive changes to legislation and federal guidance.
We will monitor the evolving situation and provide updates as they become available. It is important to keep up to date on these changes as they can impact one’s nursing license.