Greetings from Nancy Murphy. I am on a quest to bring together Critical Feminist Nurse Action Researchers and others who are interested in Critically Focused Action Research and Health Care. After attending the Action Research Network of the Americas (ARNA) Conference (its 4th) last year in Knoxville, TN and speaking with people in leadership, I decided to initiate and facilitate a Health Care – Action Research Community within ARNA. Action Research Communities (ARCs) are ways for members to create small but active groups of people who want to share resources, strategies, practices and ideas around a specific topic. They are established as the needs and interests of ARNA members evolve.
I have long been interested in action research and I am hoping the Health Care ARC will become a resource for nurses and others who are doing/who are interested in health care related critical participatory research. Over the years, I have found it challenging to locate and network with nursing action researchers. I attended the Critical and Feminist Perspectives in Nursing Conferences back in the ’90s & early ’00s and more recently the, In Sickness and in Health Conference, where I have had opportunities to meet with critical nursing scholars and researchers, some of whom are doing various kinds of action research. However, there is an absence of a central resource in North America for Nursing/Health Care action researchers and I am hoping the ARNA Health Care ARC will serve to fill this void.
Since September 2016, I have slowly been contacting nursing faculty at various universities who I know conduct critical participatory research or who may know others who are doing health care related action research, to see if they might be interested in learning more about the Health Care ARC. It is slow going, but very rewarding to reach out and begin to make connections. To date I have been in touch with about a dozen nursing researchers in the US and Canada, to share information about ARNA, the Health Care ARC, the upcoming ARNA conference and the exciting possibility of developing this ARC further. Several folks have expressed great interest.
I will be heading for Cartagena, Columbia in June to the 5th ARNA conference “Democratization of Knowledge: New Convergences for Reconciliation.” I am very much looking forward to this wonderful opportunity to meet new folks, connect with those I met last year, and make future plans. I am hopeful that over time the Health Care ARC will bloom and will become a community of ideas, strategies and action to support social justice work and improve the health of all beings! Will be back to report post conference and keep you updated on the ARNA Health Care ARC. Please email me and be in touch if you would like to hear more.
For a number of years, nurses have marched on DC to call for changes in nursing and healthcare that the conditions under which nurses care for patients. This year the specific issue is safe nurse:patient ratios, calling for passage of bills that are already in both the House and the Senate that set national standards for nurse:patient ratios. This event promises to be an invigorating event with inspiring speakers and the opportunity to be part of a strong, non-partisan event focusing on issues of great concern for all nurses. The march also coincides with the following week designated as “nurses week” – a U.S. tradition highlighting tokenism at its best (full disclosure – my personal opinion!). The march has the potential to energize nurses across the country to bring the activism home, and during nurses week take local action calling for safe ratios at home – in place of roses!
For more information, visit the Nurses Take DC website. You can also follow the Nurses Take DC Facebook page, or follow #NursesTakeDC on Twitter.
The current feature on the AJN blog “Off the Charts” is a post titled “The Limitations of Rating Nursing Care by Customer Surveys.” Since I have, for many long years, decried the practice of basing the evaluation of nursing care on patient satisfaction surveys, I jumped at the opportunity to read this post! Of course we need and want to know how patients perceive the care we provide, but how we obtain this information, and what we do with this, is a key factor. Since this approach derives fundamentally from the corporate business model, and is now practiced in the context of this model, the substance, use and outcomes of this practice are deeply flawed when examined from a NurseManifest perspective. The example the author, Juliana Paradisi gives as an example of her best safe and compassionate nursing care involves a woman in extreme distress who “fired” her as her nurse – a situation in which she could not break through the barriers inherent in the patient’s distress, but provided a level of care that was exemplary.
Even though the overarching business model that governs healthcare now is probably not going to go away soon (Ha!) – we can raise awareness of the limitations that this imposes on our practice, select specific actions to take to place these practices into context, and work to achieve whatever changes we can make. We can start with addressing the question: “What is best nursing care” from the perspective of the values in the Nursing Manifesto. There is no single answer to this question – but there are insights to be gained by thinking, talking and writing the ideas that arise from it. Once we have expressed our ideas, we can examine new and better ways to document our care, and continue to address the limitations of the existing practices that fail to document and support our best practices.
We welcome your ideas here – and stories about the times you provided what you think is the best nursing care!
Sigma Theta Tau has now published the 2nd Edition of the book “The Power of Ten,” a book of essays by nursing leaders that address ten top issues for nurses to rally around for the next few years. These issues were identified prior to the results of the 2016 election, and now they are issues of increasing importance! The essays provide ideas and inspiration for actions to strengthen nursing’s focus and activism. The issues are:
- Educational Reform
- Academic Progression
- Interprofessional collaboration
- Systems thinking
- Voice of Nursing
- Global Stewardship
- Practice authority
- Delivery of care
- Professional handoff
This is an important resource for all nurses who are determined to act on the fundamental values of nursing. The essays are a follow-up to the 2012 “Future of Nursing” report; the issues dovetail with the four recommendations of the report, and sine a light on the actions that nurses can take now to bring a culture of health to the center in shaping the future of nursing and healthcare. The essays are short and to the point, and there are inspirational quotes from nursing leaders throughout that point the way forward.
Check it out! The book is available in several different formats directly from Sigma Theta Tau or from Amazon. All proceeds from the book are being donated in equal parts to the American Red Cross nursing programs and the American Nurses Foundation.