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ANA to Address RNs' Emergency Response, Needs of Older Nurses

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At the American Nurses Association's (ANA) annual meeting in June, nearly 600 nurse leaders passed several resolutions, including one that would strengthen registered nurses' ability to respond quickly in the event of terrorist attacks and disasters and another that would aid in the retention of older, experienced nurses.

"Whenever and wherever disasters have struck, registered nurses have always responded selflessly by lending their skills, time and expertise to help victims and their families," said former ANA President Mary Foley, MS, RN. "By passing this resolution, ANA and its 54 member organizations will be able to create a more coordinated, efficient disaster response that will help all Americans in need of emergency care, preventive care or information vital to their continued health and well-being."

The resolution was brought before the ANA’s house of delegates by five state nurses associations that became key information centers for nurses who wanted to help following the events of Sept. 11, last fall's anthrax attacks, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 1992 World Trade Center bombing.

In part, it calls for ANA to lead national nursing organizations in developing the profession's response to disaster events; work with its member organizations to ensure registered nurses are involved in planning and implementing disaster preparedness initiatives at the local, state and national levels. The resolution also calls for promoting public education about disaster preparedness and response.

In approving another resolution, nurse leaders called for developing and promoting strategies that support the choice of the older, experienced nurse to continue practice; heighten awareness of the critical need for these nurses to remain core contributing professionals beyond retirement if they so choose. The resolution also calls for the monitoring of issues associated with the aging of the American workforce.

Among other resolutions, the delegates passed a measure to promote nurses' access to programs that offer comprehensive monitoring and support services to those with addictions or psychiatric disorders instead of making them face disciplinary action.

Delegates also voiced their support for a strong U.S. position in the negotiations of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the World Health Organization's effort to promote a coordinated international response regarding tobacco marketing and use. That position would include restrictions on second-hand smoke in enclosed public and private workplaces and on public transportation, and a prohibition on misleading terms on cigarette packaging, among other key concerns.

Source: ANA

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