Nurses Might Play Bigger Role in CNY's Health Care in the Future

Aug 19, 2014

Nursing coalition working on improved education and expanded roles for nursing.

  Patients in New York hospitals and doctors' offices are seeing more nurses conducting more of the direct care.  A coalition of members of the profession is trying to improve both the training nurses undertake and the practice of their skills.  Registered Nurse Julie Carter is part of the 'Future of Nursing Action Coalition' working on improved, ongoing education.

"It is imperative, in order to stay abreast of health care changes and our patients needs.  Today what works for, say, a renal patient or a cardiac patient, tomorrow that could become obsolete.  Nurses at the bedside need to be held accountable for that education."

The group is working on legislation called "B-S-N in Ten" that would require nurses to get Bachelors degrees in 10 years.  The groups other push is to allow nurses to utilize more of their training improve care in certain settings.

"If a patient came in with respiratory distress; if the were failing and needed acute rescuing, at that point, intubation, a whole scope of sedation and medicines that would be used under those circumstances, a nurse practitioner wouldn't be able to use.  They would have to defer to an anesthesiologist or physician."

Six states have removed barriers, especially for Advanced Practice Nurses, to do more direct patient care.  Carter hopes New York will join them.  She adds nurses are the first line of health care, making observations and taking basic tests -- assessments off of which much of the doctors' care is planned. 

The Future of Nurses Coalition will have a booth at the New York State Fair to inform current and future nurses about the profession and strides they're taking to strengthen it.  They'll be in the Health and Science Building.