As health reform continues to take shape, industry experts contemplate how much involvement nurses should have in the process.
Some say that because nurses play a broader role in patient care, they should play a greater role in reform decisions.
"We're in virtually every segment of the healthcare industry," Michael Bleich, the dean of the School of Nursing at Oregon Health & Science University, told the Lund Report.
For example, nurses are working as nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthesiologists. They're also working in healthcare settings outside hospital walls, such as home health, hospice programs, and public health systems, according to the article.
With such comprehensive involvement in the delivery of care, Bleich and other advocates think nurses should be part of industry decision-making.
Yet, nurses rarely have seats on hospital boards and few have been invited to healthcare reform discussions, further distancing them from the decision-making process.
In addition to calling for increased involvement in health reform, nurse advocates also highlight the need to address the looming nursing shortage thanks to an increased number of insured patients under healthcare reform, notes the Lund Report.
- read the Lund Report article