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Top 5 Nursing Issues for 2013

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, January 8, 2013

I unabashedly love Christmas (I've been known to sneak in holiday tunes before Thanksgiving). But I also love the days after Christmas when I get to take down the tree, reorganize my house, make a list of New Year's resolutions, and get a fresh start on everything from work to working out.

There's something so refreshing about a brand new year and all that it brings, from clean calendar pages to wondering about what the months ahead will hold for us.

For nurse leaders, certain issues, from increasing education to reducing readmissions, will undoubtedly be front and center this year. Here's a look at some of the top issues that will capture our focus in 2013:

1. The ever-expanding role of APRNs
The final rule on physician fees for 2013 allows Medicare to pay Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists for services to the full extent of their state scope of practice. And in many states, APRNs have been fighting for—and winning—autonomy.

But expect the battle to continue into 2013 and beyond; in fact, ANA president Karen Daley tells me via email that it's among the organization's top issues for 2013. "Advanced practice registered nurses in many states still face regulatory barriers preventing them from practicing to their full scope," she said. "These barriers should be removed throughout the country."

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7 comments on "Top 5 Nursing Issues for 2013"


Melissa S (2/8/2013 at 7:26 PM)
Agree with the safe staffing point. I believe with appropriate staffing and acuities, we could decrease the fatigue nurses experience.

John Repique (1/24/2013 at 7:44 AM)
I am also very interested in #3 because it is a very complex dilemma for nurse leaders and hospital executives. We definitely need to address the issue of nurse fatigue related to long work hours and shift work. I am pleased that ANA is taking the lead with their "Healthy Nurse" campaign.

Patricia Smith (1/22/2013 at 6:12 PM)
As the founder of the Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project, I am very interested in #3 on the list. Nursing professionals suffer some of the highest levels of compassion fatigue. This secondary traumatic stress syndrome, along with burnout and stress, can devastate the life of a helper if authentic, sustainable self-care isn't practiced on a DAILY basis. I travel nationwide presenting workshops and have found nurses to provide compassionate, high quality care to their patients, but not to themselves. Compassion Satisfaction is the pleasure we derive from our caregiving. These levels must be elevated in order to keep CF levels lower. Healthcare and medical organizations must do their part in helping nurses and other medical professionals to balance their work/life and also allow self-care on the job. It's all possible if someone really cares about staff.