Saturday February 24th 2018

The Nursing Community briefs Congressional staff about the profession, roles

Maryland Nurses Association member Patricia Sengstack, DNP, RN-BC, CPHIMS, addressed the role of nurses in health information technology, nursing clinical documentation burdens and her work around patient admission assessment documentation at a March 15 Nursing Community briefing in Washington, DC.

Patricia Sengstack fielded questions from Congressional staff on health information technology.

The Nursing Community, a coalition of 62 organizations, including the American Nurses Association, represents over one million RNs, APRNs, nurse executives, nursing students, nursing faculty and nurse researchers. The Nursing Community builds consensus and advocates on a wide spectrum of issues to improve the health and health care of the nation. The briefing, held in collaboration with Senate Nursing Caucus Co-Chairs, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Sen. Roger F. Wicker (R-MS), was conducted to educate Congressional staff about the nursing profession, nursing’s role in health IT, and how RNs and APRNs are utilized in clinical settings.

Also speaking at the briefing, “The Nursing Profession: What You Need to Know and Why It Matters,” were:

• Susan Schneider, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, AOCN, FAAN, associate professor, School of Nursing, Duke University, and North Carolina Nurses Association member, who provided an overview of the nursing profession;

• Pamela Jeffries, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, dean and professor, School of Nursing, George Washington University, and Indiana Nurses Association member, who presented on nursing education; and

• Joan Shinkus Clark, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CENP, FACHE, FAAN, senior vice president and system chief nursing officer, Texas Health Resources, and Texas Nurses Association member, who discussed the role of APRNs.

In her presentation, Sengstack noted that there are 3.4 million nurses, with most using some type of electronic health record in settings across the health care continuum.  Advantages of the move to an EHR include legibility, greater access to patient data and improved patient safety, according to Sengstack, chief nursing informatics officer, Bon Secours Health System. However, challenges exist around usability.

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