Funding for Public Health Nurses Vital to Healthcare Reform

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 1st, 2014

Because public health nurses often work quietly, they’re often first in line when budgets are cut.

Yet in 2012, one study found that just 3% of our health care dollars were spent preventing disease. But dealing with the aftereffects of preventable chronic illness costs our country $7,900 for every American with a chronic disease. That translates into more than $1.050 trillion per year to cover those 133 million Americans!

Unfortunately, public health programs are often first in line for budget cuts because wellness lacks the drama of illness, and gets far less press and attention. One report found that the number of RNs employed in public and community health settings like schools, worksites and health departments were cut nearly in half between 2004 and 2008.

The American Nurse Association’s “Public Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice,” guides nurses work and focuses their efforts. The new 71 page working document of revised standards of practice and professional performance will inform how public health nursing moves forward and keeps our population well.

We should all help promote the important work of public health nurses, because keeping well is the very simple answer to health care reform.

To learn how to recruit nurses and retain nurses and healthcare professionals, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. CONTACT ME today for ideas on customizing this powerful program for your healthcare staff.

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