Safe staffing = The right nurse for the job
A primary role of nurses is to advocate for patient welfare and safety. "Making a Case for Safe Staffing" (Editorial, June 2011) discusses -appropriate staffing to promote -patient safety. Staffing issues aren't limited to questions of staffing levels, but also include whether appropriate staff members are assigned to perform specific roles. Floating nurses to different units to buttress staffing levels-for -example, floating ICU nurses to the OR-is as dangerous as understaffing itself.
Patient advocacy doesn't stop at the bedside but also includes being vocal about which responsibilities are outside our training and education. I definitely agree with editor-in-chief Linda Laskowski-Jones when she says, "Staffing the right number of nurses with the right knowledge and skill base to meet the needs of patients is essential to achieving optimal nursing outcomes."
-ANNA LIZA D. FERNANDEZ, BSN, RN
I found "Learning from a U.K.-U.S. Nursing Student -Exchange" (Student Voices, June 2011) very interesting. However, even though I'm all for traveling to experience different cultures because this experience enriches us, I want to remind your readers that you don't have to travel overseas to find div-ersity. You have it right in your own backyard!!
-ROSE CLARK, RN
Making a difference for older adults
How do we improve the health of older adults while containing costs? Healthy People 2020 establishes national health objectives and provides tools to help states and communities across the country achieve health goals.1
Most communities have a safety net of nonprofit-based organizations for older adults, including meal support, community educational programs, and transportation services. These organizations face many challenges.
How can you help? Supporting these nonprofit organizations is critical for maintaining healthy, productive lives while controlling Medicare and out-of-pocket costs. You can volunteer your time for special projects, provide trans-portation for medical visits or to grocery stores, or deliver meals. Donating monetarily to nonprofit organizations will help them remain viable. Remember, you can make a difference in the lives of older adults.
-JANETTE SUE NEUMAN, MSN, RN, FNP-BC
Fort Wayne, Ind.