Tag Archives: #whatwouldflodo

The Most Trusted Professionals Need a Title!

Today I sent a letter to my Congressman, using a nifty widget that the ANA sends out from the RNAction platform. I had to select my “title” from the following list:
Lt Gen
The Hon.
The Right Reverend
The Very Reverend

THERE IS NO TITLE FOR NURSES! We are supposed to come to the table as equal partners with physicians according to the IOM’s plan to reform our health care system in a meaningful way…yet we have no title.

Nurses are the most respected professionals in this country for 17 years straight but still we have no professional title? I call BS! It was explained to me that Congress has not yet approved an official title for nurses, so we can’t use one. Well, time to create one! If we can, as a profession, choose and propose a title, we can make it happen. Please help me send this around to all the nurses you know, so that we might engage in a profession-wide discussion and finally get the respect we deserve by having a title.

We can create a hashtag such as #TitleforNurses, #NursingProfessionalTitle or #Nrs.isMyTitle

Let’s make it happen! Please complete the poll below.

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Celebrate the Opportunity to Do What is Right this Fourth of July…

We have all heard that “freedom isn’t free”, and that it is our armed services who are preserving our freedom. Not so much in this digital age. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released it’s investigative conclusions yesterday (July 3, 2018), which support the findings of the joint efforts of the NSA, CIA, and FBI. These findings include,

We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in
2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine
public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm
her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian
Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.

We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect
Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and
publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.

Russia’s intelligence services conducted cyber operations against targets
associated with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, including targets
associated with both major U.S. political parties. We assess Russian
intelligence services collected against the U.S . primary campaigns, think
tanks, and lobbying groups they viewed as likely to shape future U.S. policies.
In July 2015, Russian intelligence gained access to Democratic National
Committee (DNC) networks and maintained that access until at least June, 2016.          Source: https://t.co/YFXgwl3BG9

As you gear up to celebrate, please prepare to enter into the most important battle for our freedom yet – one that depends not upon the military but upon civilian action to actively #resist, to speak out to #vote and to take back our country from foreign powers and puppet presidents. We, the nurses of this country, have pledged to do what is right for our patients, and to maintain a strict code of ethics. It’s now time to apply that to our country as the population to be cared for, to fight for, to know that our very values and fundamental structures are being subverted and to work against that subversion by all means possible. Please support the young people on their #RoadToChange, the #MarchForOurLives, and all efforts to use our #VoicesandVotes to remedy this situation.

Please. Ask yourself, what would Flo do?  Resist. It’s the only truly patriotic thing to do.

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Nursing: The Last Ethical Profession? Ethics and mHealth – Published.

It is well known that nurses are the most trusted professionals in the United States. Perhaps this is due to the immutable and fundamental nature of ethics in nursing. The complete LACK of ethics, respect, integrity and honesty in our political system presently, embodied by the person occupying the White House, is appalling. As nurses, we continue to fight the good fight in our jobs. But we must do more, we must # resist on every level.

I had the honor of having another article published in the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics. The link is below. It deals with ethical design for mobile health applications. As nurses, we work to ensure that ethics permeate every aspect of our profession. Now it is time to ensure that this commitment extends to every aspect of our lives. The American Nurses Association offers any number of ways to be involved. Let’s do this… after all – #whatwouldflodo ?


Here’s the link to my most recent publication:



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Diversity in Nursing, and in our Nation – We Must Protect our Greatest Strength

MULTICULTURALCAPELLAGRADSBuilding a nation of immigrants was long considered America’s greatest strength, and many of our fine Presidents have expressed this eloquently. George Washington, arguably the country’s founding father, said, “The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respected Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges…” Woodrow Wilson is quoted as saying, ““We came to America, either ourselves or in the persons of our ancestors, to better the ideals of men, to make them see finer things than they had seen before, to get rid of the things that divide and to make sure of the things that unite.”  Franklin Roosevelt is blunt, “Remember, remember always, that all of us, you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” Unless a person is a Native American, we are all immigrants. Period.

More recently, George W. Bush considered this subject and stated, “Nearly all Americans have ancestors who braved the oceans – liberty-loving risk takers in search of an ideal – the largest voluntary migrations in recorded history… Immigration is not just a link to America’s past; it’s also a bridge to America’s future.” The photo above was taken last week at Capella University’s commencement ceremony. These five women earned their Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN), specializing in the area of Informatics. They represent President Bush’s prediction that immigrants are America’s (and nursing’s) future. Each one is either an immigrant or a first-generation American. They represent diverse heritages – Jewish, Jamaican, Nepali, Polish, and Hispanic. All are under attack at this terrible time in our country’s history – by neo-Nazis, white supremacists, racists, xenophobes, and the current administration. Why?

The politics of division. Adolf Hitler used this strategy in Germany to upend a society, brainwash and corrupt a citizenry, and murder 6 million innocent people. Because they were not considered “white enough”. Unthinkable in today’s world? Unfortunately the Dylan Roofs of this country continue the tradition of murdering innocents based on nothing more than the color of their skin or the religion they practice. President Wilson said we must get rid of the things that divide. How can we let this continue?

Nursing leaders understand the importance of culturally competent care. National standards for culturally and linguistically appropriate services in health and healthcare (CLAS) have been established by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Diversity in the nursing workforce is slowly manifesting, but if this photo is any indication, diversity in nursing leadership is rapidly on the rise. We are tasked to practice in a culturally competent manner. But we need to to more. We must #resist. We must work together with the American Nurses Association to advocate for health care for all, for sane immigration policies, for continuation of the Dream Act, for strengthening of the Affordable Care Act, for the health of our people and our nation.

The current administration’s efforts to build a wall are antithetical to George W. Bush’s view of immigration. This policy direction is unacceptable. It’s un-American. We must take action, and build President Bush’s bridge to the future. It’s the only way to make America great again.

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Northern Michigan Nurses and Community Organize Against Unsafe Staffing…Might they Strike?

Try to run a hospital without nurses. It can’t be done. If people didn’t need nursing care, they would go home. The hospital runs on the backs of the nurses. You can’t pull people from other departments, or cross-train employees. So… if the nurses go on strike you either have to hire a tremendous number of replacements at huge cost (who would still need orientation to the various units and policies), or close. It’s possible the folks at Duke LifePoint have underestimated the “sisu” or just plain guts of the people in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, because the nurses have struck before and they could do it again.

Nurses at Duke LifePoint’s Marquette General Hospital took to the streets yesterday, to protest the administration’s refusal to address their concerns about unsafe staffing. Supported by community members, hundreds of people gathered in this small, somewhat isolated community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, to march with staff RN’s. The nurses had collected and delivered over 3700 signatures on a petition calling for the hospital to bargain in good faith regarding staffing. The petition reads: “I am signing this petition to urge Duke LifePoint/UPHS Marquette to bargain with nurses for an agreement that ensures guaranteed minimum RN staffing levels that are safe for patients, in every department and on every shift.”

The nurses, in contract negotiations since April, are requesting that language be inserted that establishes minimum nurse staffing levels. Although they had agreed to a two-month extension of the previous contract, that contract lapsed in late July due to the administration’s refusal to address staffing levels. Scott Balko, RN – President of the Marquette RN Staff Council/Michigan Nurses Association – described the situation saying, “Duke LifePoint understaffs and overworks nurses to the point that quality of care is compromised. Patients at UPHS Marquette deserve better. Nurses are fighting for safe staffing, and the success of our petition shows that members of this community are with us.”

What may be unique about the Marquette RN Staff Council (RNSC) is it’s history and longevity. Visionary nurses in the 1960’s saw the need for Marquette’s nurses to be represented by a professional labor union. In 1968, the National Labor Relations Board certified the election that established the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) as the entity representing the RNSC in contract negotiations. The RNSC is now the professional labor organization of the Registered Nurse staff at Marquette General Hospital, which is represented by MNA and affiliated with the AFL-CIO. In the last 45 years, although more than a dozen contracts have been successfully negotiated, the nurses have gone out on strike twice. They could do it again.

Previously the hospital responded by merely stating that there is a national nursing shortage. This is not true in Marquette, where Northern Michigan University graduates BSN’s twice a year (December and May), and any number of other Upper Peninsula universities and community colleges offer LPN, ADN, and BSN, and RN-to-BSN programs. In fact, the hospital has been laying off nursing staff. Marquette is in the unusual position of having an RN surplus!

The hospital updated their response after the petitions were delivered, now claiming that, “UP Health System – Marquette takes very seriously our commitment to deliver high-quality, safe and compassionate care close to home, and we strive daily to create excellent workplaces for our employees. In regard to today’s events, we respect every person’s right to assemble and speak freely, and we value the input of everyone in our community. We are unable to comment further because we are currently negotiating with the Michigan Nurses Association union to develop a contract that meets the needs of our nursing staff and hospital.”

If they want to develop a contract that meets the needs of the nursing staff and patients, they are going to need to put their money where their mouths are. Otherwise, they may be faced with no nurses…and no patients. It is unwise to test the mettle of a Yooper (people who live in the Upper Peninsula). Especially when they are advocating for patient safety.


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Nurses Stand in Opposition to the AHCA

The image above comes from NBC news, capturing the “Writers Resist” rally on the steps of the New York City Public Library. What does it have to do with nursing? A lot. The American Nurses Association has been against the proposed “American Health Care Act” from the beginning. The new iteration passed by the House is perhaps even worse than the original version. This has sparked protest by diverse members of society, and broad-based opposition.

So says Gregory Craig, health policy analyst for the American Nurses Association. Rather than restate what he has written, I encourage you to visit his blog at the link below.


As nurses, we must stand united and #resist all efforts to take health care away from the most vulnerable citizens of our country, simply to provide tax breaks to the wealth. It violates every ethical principle that we embraced when we became nurses, and undermines the efforts of our profession to advocate for health and wellness for all.

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The Pillaging of Medicare – Paul Ryan’s Privatization Plan

It’s true. Paul Ryan would like to eliminate Medicare, and replace it with a voucher system very similar to that of the Affordable Care Act. Speaker Ryan’s plan would give seniors vouchers that they could use to purchase private insurance. Sound familiar? In addition, the President Elect’s choice to head up the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, supports Ryan’s push toward privatization. You can read more about it here:


Why is this important for nurses? First of all, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) have spent a lot of time and resources devising and implementing programs that prioritize and incentivize technology and informatics as a means of improving the quality and safety of care.

Health care is precariously poised at this time. Nurse leaders will face great challenges as programs such as Medicare and Medicaid face political surgery with potentially grave consequences. Should current efforts to dismantle the Medicare program and offer seniors ‘vouchers’ instead succeed, all of the quality of care initiatives and informatics incentives in existing programs will disappear. Nurse leaders will be challenged to get involved in order to protect fragile seniors and prevent the destruction of this invaluable resource, which has been paid for by monies contributed throughout a lifetime of work by the very seniors who are enrolled.

If things follow their present course, Medicare will continue to add new quality indicators and move reimbursement from a fee for service to a value-based purchasing model (Medicare.gov, n.d.). Nurse leaders will need to be aware that the care provided on their units drives a large part of the reimbursement, and be willing to ask for what they need to provide quality care to each patient.

In order to effectively lead and manage, nurse leaders will need to be informed and actively participate in the use of data and device integration to provide safe, high quality care. They will also have to advocate for their staff and patients by ensuring that technologies implemented are facilitating rather than hindering nursing workflows, and adding value to the nurse-patient experience (Roussel et al., 2016). Advocating for those at risk, such as patients covered by Medicare and Medicaid, is a fundamentally important challenge that nurse leaders must take up, as they are ethically bound to by the ANA’s Code of Ethics for Nurses.


Medicare.gov. (n.d.). Hospital VBP program payment adjustments. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/data/payment-adjustments.html

Roussel, L., Thomas, P. L., & Harris, J. L. (Eds.). (2016). Management and leadership for nurse administrators (7th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

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Nurses Continue to Illuminate the World


The defeat of the ANA-endorsed Presidential candidate seems a tacit endorsement of the campaign rhetoric of her opponent. Nurses are a diverse group. For some this election result may be cause for celebration. Others mourn. One thing unites us all – we are nurses. We are called to our profession due to our unshakable belief in the goodness of humanity, and the universal need to care for persons, families, communities, nations, the world, and the environment through the art and science of nursing.

The question arises: what would Flo do? A pertinent quotation shines forth. “It is the unqualified result of all my experience with the sick,that second only to their need of fresh air, is their need for light.” Let us continue to be the light.

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We are called, out of the depths, to mourn and rise again…

My dearest colleagues and readers. A dark day has descended upon my country, a day when hate and division have called forth a leader of dangerous beliefs and medieval thoughts. We may not despair. We must mourn and then continue in our quest to heal ourselves, our families, our communities and our world. Do not lose the light and inspiration! What would Flo do? She would urge us to overcome, to remember that love TRUMPS hate! Today, we mourn. Tomorrow we work again.

A phenomenal perspective, which may help immensely, is presented by Rabbi Jill Jacobs in the link below.



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Lawmakers Dawdle and Dither while Children are Poisoned…What’s Next for Flint?

In a shameful revelation, the Detroit News reported that expanded Medicaid services, requested by Republican Governor Rick Snyder and approved by the federal government TWO MONTHS ago to help Flint’s poisoned citizenry have still not been actualized. Why have the children not been helped?

Because the deeply divided, dithering lawmakers in Lansing cannot play nice with each other. SHAME ON THEM! Mistakenly labeled by some as an expansion of “Obamacare”, this aid has been tied to a supplemental funding bill for the city, which lawmakers have decided to put off voting on until June. Read all about it here…


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