ANA-ILLINOIS RELEASES VIDEO CITING DEVASTATING IMPACT OF COVID ON THE PROFESSION OF NURSING
ANA-Illinois representing over 170,000 registered nurses in Illinois, created a Public Service Announcement calling for urgent action to reverse the loss of nursing professionals. With the loss of over 27,000 lives due to the COVID in Illinois, the video urges everyone to do their part in ending this pandemic by wearing a mask and getting vaccinated.
A nursing shortage has become a significant threat to public health. Nurse staffing levels in all settings are critical to optimizing the quality of patient care, improving care outcomes, and long-term cost containment. In the face of nurse staffing shortages, an aging population, and increased patient complexity, ANA-Illinois and its members are taking action. ANA-Illinois and the Illinois Hospital Association recently collaborated on a new law that is aimed at helping improve working conditions in hospitals. The legislation is a positive step in Illinois, but we still have a lot of work to do in other areas to address working conditions for nurses.
Before the pandemic, Illinois faced a regional shortage of nurses; now, with the pandemic well into its 18th month and burnout being a major issue, fewer nurses means that there will be no one there for patients. We often hear reference to ICU bed availability, but available beds mean nothing if we do not have nurses to care for the patients.
Federal efforts are underway; ANA recently urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to declare the current and unsustainable nurse staffing shortage facing our country a national crisis. In a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, ANA calls for the Administration to acknowledge and take concrete action to address the current crisis-level nurse staffing shortage that jeopardizes nurses’ ability to care for patients.
We cannot lose sight of the state-level work that remains to be done. ANA-Illinois recently convened an Expert Panel on Nursing Education to identify and find solutions to recruitment issues in Illinois. We also have been working to address diversity, equity, and inclusion in the profession with an Expert Panel of nurses developing solutions to empower the nursing community: institutions, practitioners, leaders, students, staff, and faculty to eliminate health disparities due to intentional and unintentional discrimination, marginalization, and racism.
We are proud of our work to empower nurses, find solutions, and address issues that continue to plague the profession.
ANA-Illinois, a constituent member of the American Nurses Association, is the professional association representing registered nurses throughout Illinois. To learn more about ANA-Illinois, visit www.ana-illinois.org.