May 7, 2020 ANA Letter to President Trump
ANA Letter to President Trump thanking him for signing the National Nurses Day Proclamation.
We thank you for signing the National Nurses Day proclamation and for recognizing their critical contributions on the frontlines every day and particularly during this time of crisis. We also appreciated the Administration's decision to continue the important work of the Coronavirus Task Force and provide the following recommendations for your consideration.
May 7, 2020
Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Trump:
The American Nurses Association (ANA) appreciates the opportunity to represent the voice of 4+million registered nurses at the White House on Nurses Day. We thank you for signing the National Nurses Day proclamation and for recognizing their critical contributions on the frontlines every day and particularly during this time of crisis. We also appreciated the Administration’s decision to continue the important work of the Coronavirus Task Force and provide the following recommendations for your consideration.
In recognizing the critical role of nurses, we respectfully ask that the Administration name a nurse to play a more active role in the Coronavirus Task Force. As acknowledged in the proclamation, nurses are on the frontlines of this pandemic and can provide a unique perspective to the task force. ANA stands ready to serve in this role and would respectfully ask that you consider calling upon ANA for this important role.
As I referenced during the signing ceremony our frontline providers are facing trauma, grief, moral distress, and PTSD. Based on information we have received approximately 200,000 nurses have reported experiencing symptoms that may be associated with PTSD because of the pandemic. We can anticipate this number will increase as more states experience hotspots and surges in COVID cases.
This is a struggle that will last long after the COVID-19 crisis is over. ANA recommends the Task Force focus on the mental health of our health care providers. ANA stands ready to share with the Administration our progress in developing responsive measures (peer-to-peer conversations, warmlines, hotlines, cognitive processing techniques) and preventative measures (stress reduction, mindfulness and educational materials) to inform your efforts.
In keeping with your Administration’s goal to safely reopen society, ANA strongly encourages you to consider the following recommendations as you work with state and local leaders:
- Include nurses in state and local decision-making regarding reopening plans.
- Encourage the private sector to embrace staggered work schedules and flexible telecommute policies and educate employees on how best to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
- Ensure access to safe and effective personal protective equipment (PPE) for all frontline health care professionals. Health care systems and facilities should maintain a minimum of a 90-day supply of PPE.
- Remove barriers to testing and treatment, such as cost-sharing, to encourage 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.
- Ensure educational resources are readily available to keep the public informed and to promote the flow of accurate information.
- Continue to practice preventative measures such as physical distancing and wearing homemade cloth masks in public to minimize the spread.
As we continue to move into a new phase of COVID-19, we must ensure there is robust and targeted support for health care providers to care for patients safely and effectively. ANA looks forward to continuing to work with you and the Administration and welcomes any opportunities to contribute in this process.
Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN