Nurses need more of a voice in reform, survey says

Despite being some of the most trusted people in the medical profession, nurses aren't seen as important decision makers, and thus, don't have nearly enough of a say on the healthcare reform front, according to a recent Gallup poll conducted on behalf of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

In fact, the survey found that five other groups--government officials, insurance executives, pharmaceutical executives, healthcare executives and doctors--all are believed to have more of an influence on reform than nurses. It consisted of 1,504 opinion leaders, and took place from August through October of last year. 

"Nurses are highly trusted sources of healthcare information, but as we look to reform our health system, our nation is not taking advantage of all that nurses have to offer," said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "This survey shows that opinion leaders recognize that we are squandering opportunities to learn from nurses and implement their ideas." 

Other reasons why nurses often are shortchanged in terms of reform influence include their inability to generate as much revenue as others in the medical profession and their focus on primary, rather than preventive care. Nurses also do not have a single voice speaking on national issues. 

For more information:
- read this Baltimore Sun blog post
- read this press release
- check out the survey