It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the nation’s registered professional nurses. First the ladies on the popular television show The View disparaged the country’s nurses by critiquing a Miss America contestant, a professional registered nurse, who dressed as a nurse and carried one of the tools of her trade, her stethoscope. Many of the country’s 3.2 million professional nurses, quickly took to social media to correct the negative impressions the ladies of The View held about nurses. Apologies followed.
July 30th marks the 50-year anniversary of the signing into law, by President Lyndon Johnson the Medicare and Medicaid legislation; legislation which profoundly opened up health care access to millions of Americans. Before we celebrate too loudly about this singular achievement which has improved the lives of our citizens both young and old, let’s remember that there are still many Americans left without adequate access to health care.
Editors’ Note: The mythology surrounding Florence Nightingale has often ignored or glossed over her role as an innovative applied statistician. Nightingale was doing sophisticated polar graph charts and thought experiments before think tanks and blogs existed. As we wrap up this year’s National Nurses Week and celebrate Nightingale’s 195th birthday, we thought it would be a good idea to look at how Nightingale would approach our modern health care issues. What follows is a fascinating scenario from Nurse and Mathematician Thomas Cox which positions Nightingale in the 21st century to make sense of our current healthcare reforms in the US.
Sarah H. Kagan PhD, RN
We live in the age of aging. Unprecedented longevity juxtaposed against declining birth rates means the older population is expanding at rates we have never encountered before. Aging defined in positive terms – “healthy aging” anyone? – is increasingly popular. But discussing realities like health care is far different.