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Health care leaders discuss how to improve nursing in light of new study

Nursing students

Health care leaders throughout the state are preparing for changes under federal health care reform laws. Dozens gathered at Grand Valley State University Tuesday to take part in a national discussion on how nurses can ease the transition.

The discussion is based on a report released last month from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Institute of Medicine.  It recommends nurses have an equal say in how to implement reforms. “It’s time for us not to compete among professions but how we deliver care in the best way to our patients and bring about the best outcomes,” said Cynthia McCurren, Dean of GVSU’s College of Nursing. “It’s not who does it, necessarily, its how we do it together as a team.”

The report also recommends nurses receive more education and training – and practice to the full extent of their skills. “Many, many more Americans are going to become eligible for health care and nurses can do a lot to address that challenge that’s ahead of us. So how do we become part of that solution in terms of the way we educate our students,” McCurren said.

McCurren and other health care industry leaders in west Michigan met Tuesday to discuss the problem.   The group is one of dozens across the country taking part in a two-day webinar based in Washington D.C.

Michigan is participating in a pilot program to improve nursing. Five states were picked to work out problems that stop nurses from practicing at their full potential.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.