How many of you are really familiar with how nursing will impact health care reform? I recently had a discussion with a colleague of mine about this issue and I was dismayed about her lack of understanding about this issue. As I asked more and more nurses about what they knew about "what's in it for nursing," it became clear that many nurses aren't familiar with the important role nurses will play in implementing health care reform. We are key drivers in this change that will provide health care for 34 million people who aren't currently receiving care. Keeping patients healthy and out of the acute care system through preventative care, transitional care, and chronic disease management will start to move health care in this country from a focus on illness to one of optimum health and wellness.
I encourage you to read Diana Mason's article in the July issue of the American Journal of Nursing titled: Health Care Reform: What's in it for Nursing. This article will give you a great overview of the importance of nursing in health care reform. Every nurse needs to be able to speak articulately about our role in health care reform to not only other nurses but, to everyday people. After all, we are their hope for better health.