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Iowa Nurse Reporter - July 2018

Iowa Nurse Reporter - July

IOWA NURSE REPORTER Quarterly publication direct mailed to approximately 64,000, including all active RNs, LPNs and ARNPs licensed in Iowa Volume 1 • Number 4 July, August, September 2018 INA PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE INSIDE 2018 Conference Information pages 4-6 Honor a Nurse pages 12-13 current resident or Presort Standard US Postage PAID Permit #14 Princeton, MN 55371 I hope your summer is going smoothly and you are planning some time off to enjoy our June weather. The Iowa Nurses Association has had a very active 2018 thus far with our organization continuing to evolve and develop to reflect the needs of nurses in Iowa. We are a digitalized organization and active on social media so look for us if you have not connected already. To ensure that we are meeting the needs of all nurses Jann Ricklefs, RN, MSN, PhD, CNE we will continue to offer our communication in print as well. The nursing shortage is a hot topic that continues to need all our focus. The generation of Baby Boomer nurses are retiring and nurses in our state over 50 years-old make up 44% of our workforce. There are presently nursing shortages throughout our state with health care organizations and longterm care facilities looking to hire nurses at all levels of nursing education preparation and specialty. This information is not new and has been featured in stories by the news media throughout the state and on the worldwide web and I will not dwell on the statistics and predictions that exist. There are areas in Iowa where no shortage exists, but this does not help the impacted areas. There is no simple answer to why the problem exists because it is complicated by health care law and available money and resources. One fact is certain no matter where you live: we need more nurses. My focus of the nursing shortage in writing this article is on the power of “you.” Most nurses in Iowa are hard-working wives and husbands who are providing care to meet the unique needs of patients. Life is focused on earning a living in a highly selffulfilling job, raising and educating a family, and meeting spiritual and emotional needs. Hopefully, a little time and energy are left to relax and have fun. These nurses see little personal power with the nursing shortage because they are working as hard as they can. There are ways though, that every nurse can make a difference with minimal effort and time. Serving as an advocate, role modeling, and demonstrating professionalism are a few of the opportunities within the power of each nurse. Advocacy for our patients and profession is a pillar of nursing practice. It is within our nursing DNA and ethical responsibility to act as an advocate for our patients. Advocating for our profession ensures that safe and effective care is available and provided to our patients. Every clinical nurse can advocate for our profession by volunteering and becoming involved in health care policy development at the unit, organizational, and community level. Nursing leaders can collaborate with others to effectively use available nursing staff and resources to ensure nurses can practice at the full potential of their license in all health care environments. Nursing educators can advocate for curriculums that reflect the knowledge and skills needed for today’s nurses in our technology-rich work environments. Every nurse can contribute to lessening the nursing shortage. Act as an advocate to ensure that work environments remain healthy places to work for all employees. Remain knowledgeable and current on health care legislation that impacts our patients and profession: a very realistic opportunity in today’s digitalized world. Email legislators when proposed health care laws support or challenge care and access for all Iowans. They appreciate, respect, and listen to your voice as part of the most trusted profession. Follow social media, such as INA’s Facebook page, that keeps you current on what is happening in Iowa and what your nurses association is doing to support practice for all Iowa nurses. We have the power within us. Role modeling is another effective way you can personally make a difference with the nursing shortage to inspire others to enter our profession. Serve as a mentor or preceptor for a student or new nurse. Ensure you are practicing safe, effective patient care by maintaining evidence-based skills and technical competence. Consider volunteering to give a short talk on the nursing profession at your kid’s school. Work at a local health fair. Be an active and visual part of your community. Keep in mind that nurses enter our profession at all ages and many enter as a second career. I recently participated in the 100 Great Iowa Nurses selection process and presentation of the awards. Many of these nurses not only excelled as nurses in their professional role but contributed to the health and wellbeing of their communities and churches. No effort goes without its personal and professional rewards. Strive to always demonstrate professionalism. Seek opportunities for growth. Be a leader in promoting professionalism to others. Take opportunities to develop your knowledge base. Many employers provide continuing education opportunities to help you maintain your competence in your job, but this does not fully contribute to your knowledge as a professional. Participate in workshops, conferences, and webinars to keep current on health care topics and issues. Join a professional nursing organization. The knowledge and access to valuable professional resources for nursing practice exceed the low cost of membership. Consider returning to school to INA President’s Message continued on page 2