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U.S. Senate recognizes nursing importance - News - Nursesarena Forum

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U.S. Senate recognizes nursing importance by Idowu Olabode : November 30, 2015, 03:16:43 PM
There are more than 250 nurse-managed health clinics throughout the nation that serve as a medical home for more than 3 million people in underserved rural and urban settings. Nurse-led clinics managed by advanced practice nurses were honored across the nation in November through a Senate resolution. The resolution officially marked Nov. 8-14 as National Nurse-Managed Health Clinic Week. U.S. Senate Resolution 303, co-sponsored by Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon launches a national campaign to bring awareness to nurse-managed health clinics and the vulnerable communities they serve.

Nurse-managed health clinics play a pioneering role in health care innovation by testing new modalities of primary health care and offering clinical training sites for the next generation of providers. National Nurse-Managed Health Clinic Week recognizes the capacity of nurse-led clinics to provide accessible, high-quality and affordable health services to patients who would not otherwise have access to care.

To further underscore the revolutionary impact of nurse-led care nationally and globally, the National Nursing Centers Consortium – a national nonprofit organization supporting nurse-led care as a solution to health care disparities – held its annual conference Nov. 12-13 in Philadelphia. The conference focused on the sustainability of nurse-managed health clinics and the future of nurse-led care.

The National Nursing Centers Consortium serves as an incubator for innovative nurse-led community-based programs. As part of its conference, the consortium highlighted the kickoff of two major initiatives with support from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and The Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation.

The “Transforming Clinical Practices” initiative is one of the largest federal quality-improvement programs of its kind; the National Nursing Centers Consortium will be supporting nurse practitioner involvement in this critical initiative. Hillman funding will support the consortium and Widener University in a collaboration to create a community-integrated “Public Health Nursing/Legal Partnership,” serving the health and social needs of low-income mothers and babies in Philadelphia. Both these major initiatives recognize the importance of nurse-led care and further enable the consortium to fulfill its mission by enabling nurse-managed health clinic leaders to transform practices and better address the social determinants of health.

“With a known shortage of primary-care physicians, advanced-practice nurses, nurse practitioners and nurse-managed health clinics are vital to ensuring access to high-quality and affordable health care for millions of people,” said Tine Hansen-Turton, chief executive officer of the consortium. “This resolution, in addition to our annual conference, initiates a national dialogue to bring awareness to the innovative ways that nurse-led care closes gaps in care, lowers costs, and is creating a future in which access to primary and preventive care is a reality for everyone.”

Amy Barton, chairman of the board at the consortium, said, “Nurse practitioners who serve as primary-care providers in the nurse-managed health clinics are now the face of primary care in our country. We are glad to see national attention brought to the evolving role of nurse-led care. And the fact that it is happening during our national conference focusing on the sustainability of nurse-managed health clinics makes this week all the more special.”

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