BURLINGTON, Vt. – On Wednesday, April 1, 2020, the American Nurses Association Vermont, Vermont State School Nurses Association, Vermont Nurse Practitioners Association, Northeast Multistate Division, and the Organization of Nurse Leaders MA-RI-CT-NH-VT have issued a joint statement to state and congressional leaders, requesting that nurses have a voice in the COVID-19 pandemic strategic planning and implementation efforts that directly impact front line health care workers. Nurses and nurse practitioners must be involved in all levels of planning, including on local, state, and hospital interdisciplinary teams.
“Our nursing knowledge, skill, and experience in service planning and delivery should be considered thoughtfully and utilized, at all levels of the pandemic response efforts,” states ANA-VT President Eileen Girling.
Nursing skills must be used to inform and manage direct care in both the inpatient and community settings, as well as to develop the policies, procedures, training guidelines, and protocols for personal protective equipment and related safe reuse guidelines. Full transparency and engagement with nurses at the planning level will support confidence and trust, reduce stress, and assure that nurses are protected, while caring for the most people in a sustained novel coronavirus outbreak.
Year after year, nurses remain the most trusted profession according to annual surveys. Now more than ever, nurses need to be able to trust their government, employers, and the communities they serve. The public must protect themselves and our health care professionals by following the governor’s directive to self-isolate in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Hospital and governmental agencies need to protect nurses by proactive engagement and providing full transparency regarding availability of personal protective equipment that is evidence based. Nurses must be engaged in conversations that support safe use and reuse, based on science as well as the supply chain.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. WHO has also designated 2020 the Year of the Nurse.