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									 NEWS | Nursing

                   The Nursing Expert
                                                 Redraft of nurse role sought
                  Anne Marie Barnett, RN
                  Former President,
                  Maryland NADONA/LTC            in government-backed study
                                                 By Brett Bakshis                                                      to address:
 Staff sometimes request time                    A new initiative to study the                                            • Reconceptualizing the
 off that they want after they have              future of nursing in America                                          role of nurses in the context
 bought their plane tickets, making              and help address the growing                                          of the workforce, the shortage,
 staffing a nightmare. Any sugges-                nursing shortage was jointly                                          societal issues, and current and
 tions on how to handle this?                    launched last month by two                                            future technology.
                                                 research organizations.                                                  • Expanding nursing fac-
 Make it very clear when you are inter-             Members of a new commit-                                           ulty, increasing the capacity of
 viewing for a job in your department            tee overseen by the Institute                                         nursing schools.
 what the policy is about requesting             of Medicine and the Robert                                               • Redesigning nursing edu-
 time off. I have also seen staff wait until     Woods Johnson Foundation                                              cation to meet current and
 September or October to begin to use            will spend the next 10 months     A new study will explore the        future healthcare demands.
 their leave time because they are in a          meeting with nurses and the       role of nurses in healthcare and       • Examining solutions in
                                                                                   address how to attract and retain
 use or lose situation.                          public and reviewing different    them across various settings.
                                                                                                                       healthcare delivery and health
    Meet with all of your staff at the           nursing care models.                                                  professional education.
 beginning of summer and review the                 They will create a report      should be able to present its          • Attracting and retaining
 time off policy and be sure that all            intended to define a com-         report in the fall of next year,    well-prepared nurses in mul-
 members sign in for the review. It is not       prehensive plan of action,        according to Robert Woods           tiple care settings. These include
 your job to keep track of who is and who        including local, state and        Johnson Foundation.                 acute, ambulatory, primary care,
 is not using their time off.                    federal policy changes, if          Group leaders outlined            community and public health-
    Please make sure that you are con-           necessary. The committee          some of the areas they intend       care settings. ■
 sistent with following the request for

                                                 Nurses express employer dissatisfaction
 time off policy. Discourage staff from
 buying plane tickets before their leave
 request is approved. Stress that a
 request does not guarantee approval.            By James M. Berk
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