SILVER SPRING, MD – Today, the American Nurses Association (ANA) President Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN joined President Donald Trump at the White House for the signing ceremony of the National Nurses Day proclamation. During this time, Dr. Grant was able to share with President Trump and members of the administration concerns about nurses’ mental health and stress the importance of governors including nurses in critical decisions about reopening states.
“I thank the administration for the opportunity to have these important discussions,” said Dr. Grant. “ANA appreciates their continued efforts to support the nursing profession during this very difficult time.”
“Today is National Nurses Day, but it feels dramatically different. None of us could have imagined that we’d be here, but nurses have risen to the occasion, pushing through their own fears to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Grant. “We are glad that the President signed the National Nurses Day proclamation because nurses truly deserve the recognition and acknowledgement for courageously providing care on the frontlines and making enormous sacrifices to care for all us. I have never been prouder to be a nurse and represent the profession.”
During the meeting, Dr. Grant reiterated the effect that COVID-19 will have on nurses.
“As the weeks and months go by, we cannot ignore the toll on our frontline workers. We must take the time now, to put in place solutions that will address the trauma, grief, moral distress and PTSD our nursing workforce is experiencing and will struggle with long after the COVID-19 crisis is over. We have to safeguard nurse’s well-being and take heed to their invaluable insights so that we can recover faster and stronger,” said Dr. Grant.
ANA will continue to work with the administration on the following recommendations:
- ANA urges the Administration recommend that state and local governments include nurses in their decision making regarding re-opening their states. As America starts to make the tough decisions on how to reopen, nurses must be at the table to discuss best practices so this can be done in a safe and effective manner.
- ANA recognizes that many businesses want to reopen. If possible, in office settings, ANA advises that companies create a staggered work schedule and flexible telecommute policies. In addition, they should provide the necessary ongoing education on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Sufficient personal protective equipment
- ANA calls for all frontline health care professionals to have access to safe and effective personal protective equipment (PPE). Health care systems and facilities should maintain a minimum of a 90-day supply of PPE.
- ANA reinforces the critical need for health care systems to have the capacity for a surge in cases requiring additional beds and medical equipment.
Testing Capacity and Contact Tracing
- ANA supports efforts to identify COVID-19 cases earlier, trace new cases, and strengthen overall public health efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- ANA advocates for the removal of barriers to testing and treatment, such as cost and access, to aid in the early identification and treatment of infected individuals. While increased testing capacity will result in more cases of COVID-19, this early identification will help minimize further spread of COVID-19.
Public Health Education and Safety
- ANA continues to call for increased support, education and resources to keep the public informed and to promote the flow of accurate information.
- ANA supports preventative measures such as physical distancing and wearing homemade cloth masks in public to minimize the spread.
Support for Frontline Health Care Workers
- Recognizing this critical necessity to support the mental wellbeing and resilience of nurses, the American Nurses Foundation partnered with other nursing organizations to create a virtual support system and digital toolkit. This includes responsive measures (peer-to-peer conversations, warmlines, hotlines, cognitive processing techniques) and preventive measures (stress reduction, mindfulness and educational materials).
# # #
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 4 million registered nurses. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org.
For high-resolution images of the ANA logo or photos of ANA leadership, please click here.