I am a strong supporter of the proposed Office of the National Nurse. Nurses represent the largest percentage of health professionals, with demands growing along with innovations in technology, research, and clinical practice.1 Health policy legislation enacted in California last year, for example, adds tremendous pressure to fulfill nurse staffing ratios.2 We need congressional support to educate a substantial workforce and adequately staff facilities and schools of nursing. Nurses must educate and work with their members of Congress. Funding and legislation are needed to develop long-term strategies on how to make the nursing workforce sustainable. Only with innovation and political support will it be possible to adequately respond to societal demands that nurses provide greater leadership and take on new responsibilities in clinical, educational, and research roles.3
Nurses must lead these efforts, and the Office of the National Nurse would provide a platform for designing and executing them.
Joachim Voss, PhD, RN
1. Buerhaus PI. Current and future state of the U.S. nursing workforce. JAMA
2. Conway PH, et al. Nurse staffing ratios: trends and policy implications for hospitalists and the safety net. J Hosp Med
© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
3. Thompson PA. Key challenges facing American nurse leaders. J Nurs Manag