By: Antoinette Falker, DNP, RN, GCNS-BC, CMSRN, CBN Dictionary.com defines pursuit as: the act of pursuing; an effort to secure or attain a goal; a quest; and any occupation, pastime, or the like in which a person is engaged regularly or customarily. They define excellence as the fact or state of excelling. The pursuit of excellence in nursing is indeed a quest that is accomplished by thoughtfully looking at ones environment and then strategically thinking about how to make a positive difference. If you are in a nursing department with high nursing turnover, making a difference might entail starting a Welcome Committee and developing an orientation tool for new staff. You may also want to consider starting an Engagement Committee to plan activities to enhance staff satisfaction and staff morale. If you work in a nursing department in which most of your new hires are graduate nurses, you may want to start a preceptor committee to better understand the needs of your preceptors and to develop an orientation tool specifically tailored to the needs of new nurses. If you can never find items in your supply rooms, consider starting a team comprised of nurses who like to organize. Empower them as front-end users to redo the supply area in a more user friendly manner. Now, I am not saying to remodel the supply room, rather I am saying to thoughtfully look at where items are stored in your supply room and then rearrange it to fit the work of your nursing division. If your nursing division is lucky enough to have an established nursing staff, consider setting a goal to increase the number of medical-surgical nurses who are certified medical-surgical registered nurses (CMSRN®). Recently, I had the opportunity to present a hospital in Illinois with the The AMSN PRISM Award®. While there, I was informed that a staggering 77% of the nurses on the unit receiving the AMSN PRISM Award were certified! How did that happen? The nurses and their leadership team decided to pursue excellence in medical-surgical nursing through specialty nursing certification. They found nurses to champion specialty nursing certification. You may want to consider becoming a nursing champion and finding other nursing champions. Consider starting a study group, and raise awareness of the opportunities provided by your facility for specialty nursing certification. Take the time to thoughtfully look at your environment, look at the opportunities for growth, and then begin your pursuit of excellence.
The House of Representatives was expected the week of Mon., June 10, to vote on legislation that includes strong funding for key AMSN workforce development and research priorities. Along with the Nursing Community Coalition, AMSN and its members have been urging Congress to support these vital funding priorities. A key committee on May 8 cleared the FY 2020 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill (HR 2740, H Rept 116-62) providing increases in Title 8 nurse workforce development and the National Institutes of Nursing Research. It also provided level funding for the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research (AHRQ), though overall AHRQ funding was cut from expiration of a key funding source authorized by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But the House bill’s funding increases are at risk: its overall $11 billion increase in funding depends on bipartisan congressional leaders and the Administration agreeing to increase overall domestic spending for 2020 which they have not yet done. See AMSN’s written testimony to Congress HERE. New legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate that reauthorizes Title 8 nurse workforce development programs AMSN supports. AMSN is calling upon members to contact their members of the Senate to cosponsor the Title 8 Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act (S 1399), introduced by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Richard Burr (R-NC). Support Your Workplace – Be Heard in Congress on Nurse Workforce Legislation here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1exr1Me48UjtfS0qF7u_IfqQZayJ2efXaJVkUYiddIdk/edit More than a dozen major national nursing organizations joined AMSN in signing onto national-level regulatory comments May 31 in support of health information technology improvements. Led by AMSN, the letters supported making more patient health information available to health care professionals through trusted exchange networks. They also favored requiring hospitals to improve the effectiveness and reliability of electronic patient notifications. Read the letters to the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. State-based legislation opposed by AMSN has stopped progressing in the states of Illinois and Pennsylvania. A bill in Illinois inconsistent with AMSN policy on safe staffing for patient care, HB 2604, failed to be cleared by the Rules Committee before the legislature adjourned for the summer. AMSN advised the legislature that staffing should be based on “patient acuity, and the skill and capability of individual nurses in a unit… By contrast, HB 2604 sets fixed nurse-patient ratios in Illinois health care facilities; therefore, our organization is opposed to the legislation in its present form.” Likewise, a bill in Pennsylvania that risked complicating nurses’ CMSRN and CCCTM credentials, HB 811, has failed to progress in committee and is likely finished for the year. “We respect that the intent of HB 811 is to open employment and economic opportunity for persons who have criminal records and have paid their debts to society,” wrote AMSN President Hertel. “Our organizations are concerned that HB 811 as introduced includes several problematic and unclear provisions.