Wednesday, February 16, 2011

From the hospital side of things...

Skillful. Efficient. Compassionate. That's how I see nurses.

As the marketing communications manager of AONE, my life is played out in an office environment and not in a clinical setting. However, I recently had an outpatient surgical procedure that put me on the hospital side of things. That's right ladies and gents, I had a bunionectomy!

Those who know me know I am squeamish and a big baby when it comes to anything medical-related - just ask my colleagues! Having worked at AONE in the company of strong and formidable nurse leaders, I thought... OK, now I will see the front line of nurses in action... and I can report back my experience.

My foot surgeon and anesthesiologist were assisted by a scrub nurse and rotating nurse, both of whom ROCKED! From the moment I arrived, they were totes compassionate and calmed my nerves. I watched Nina, my scrub nurse, prepping my foot with efficiency and careful attention- not one movement was superfluous! Stephanie, my rotating nurse, also moved with precision, and at one point tricked me into a conversation as the anesthesiologist inserted the IV into my hand. Ah, the power of diversion!

All in all, through prep, surgery and recovery, I knew I was in capable and expert hands because of these awesome nurses!

I know this blog isn't groundbreaking or anything you didn't know, but I wanted to share my experience and take the opportunity to say thanks to all the nurses in my life- for all that you do.

So... how do YOU see nurses? If you have a similar story of appreciation you would like to share, please send my way to and I'd love to pass along to the AONE membership.

Have a great day! Eric

Cuts to Title VIII Nursing Programs

The House of Representatives is currently finalizing the FY 2011 appropriations process. Under consideration is a Continuing Resolution (CR), H.R. 1, which the House Appropriations Committee introduced on February 11, 2011. As the largest cut to discretionary funding for the federal government in history, this CR would reduce spending by over $100 billion from the President’s FY 2011 budget request.

Of importance to you, the CR cuts the Nursing Workforce Development Programs and Health Professions Programs (Title VII, Public Health Service Act) by $145.1 million, a 29% decrease in funding over FY 2010 levels. Additionally, the CR proposes a reduction of nearly $1 billion for the National Institutes of Health, which includes the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR).

Members of Congress must hear from the Nurse Executive Community and aspiring nurse leaders that they must protect funding for Title VIII and NINR given their unique benefits to America’s healthcare system.The vote on H.R. 1 will set the stage for future budget debates. If proposed cuts to FY 2011 are enacted, nursing education and research will be jeopardized and it will take years to recover.

Please take a few moments between now and Thursday, February 17, 2011 to send a message to your Representative asking them to preserve the federal investment in health, and in particular nursing. Most importantly, personalizing the message with mention of the hospital, system or place of employment and how cuts to the workforce programs could affect you. As an example (Did your hospital receive money through the Title VIII programs for nurse retention, grants or scholarships or loan forgiveness, did you or someone on your staff finish a Masters, or APRN training because of federal dollars?

Click the link below to log in and send your message:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Oh what a beautiful mornin'..."

"Oh what a beautiful day! I've got a beautiful feelin', ev'rything's goin' my way."

I'm not sure why, but ever since I was about ten this is the song that always pops into my head when the weather is nice and I'm feeling excited about something. Perhaps it's the inner "ham" inside me who was always willing to belt out show tunes to annoy my older sister in front of her friends, or the vivid technicolor genius that is the set design of Oklahoma. Well, whatever it is, the weather has been chilly here in DC this winter, and while we haven't had the snow we did last year, I've been feeling the winter blues a little more than normal.

Today changed all that. It was sunny this afternoon and 50 degrees. I'm not getting my hopes up about spring yet, but it was just enough sunshine and warmth to pull me out of my slump a bit and put an added spring in my step. And, while that spring was fresh and bouncy I decided to channel it into working on our plans for AONE's 44th Annual Meeting and Exposition coming up in just two short months. I headed into the office on this sunny Sunday afternoon to put the finishing touches on some items including our menu selections for the meeting, the onsite program that has to go to the printer soon, and rounding up all the stray questions I've received about registration, housing, speaking, sponsorships and more. I made it through a ton of emails and my desk is looking more organized than it has in about six months.

Though part of me can't believe it is only two months away and is begging for just a little more time, the other part is bursting with excitement to see all of our plans laid out for you - the AONE membership. I think you'll really enjoy some of the surprises we have planned for you in San Diego! But, you'll have to be there to know what they are, so register now if you haven't already. You don't want to miss it.

"There's a bright golden haze on the meadow..."

Director of Education