“I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession.”
This excerpt comes from the Florence Nightingale Pledge, which is often read at graduation/pinning ceremonies for nurses. From the beginning of nursing school and every day since, you’re reminded of your power to maintain and elevate the standard of your profession through patient safety — especially through infection prevention and control.
Infection prevention and control is one of the first subjects covered in nursing school, yet its key concepts are often overlooked or forgotten. No matter how long you’ve been a nurse, it’s vital to remember that infection prevention practices help:
- Prevent the spread of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), which can have serious consequences for vulnerable patients
- Protect yourself and your colleagues from exposure to pathogens
- Prevent antimicrobial resistance through the overuse and misuse of antibiotics
- Ensure compliance with infection prevention regulations and in the monitoring and reporting of infections
Infection prevention and control doesn’t only benefit your patients, it benefits you. And there has never been a better time to revisit this topic. You most likely know it, but do you do it?
In this 10 day challenge, we’re putting a laser focus on infection prevention. By prioritizing the everyday actions that help keep you and your patients safe, you truly will be elevating the standard of your nursing practice.
Though this challenge concluded on June 30, please feel free to do it with friend or colleague on your own. Get started here.
Hi! As a 71 Y/0 retiree, thus in no fear of employer retribution, I am trying to do my part to elevate our profession for the sake of the next generation of nurses, and for the sake of myself, as I age and likely wind up in the hospital before I die.. Namely, here in Pennsylvania, I am joined with a coalition of nurse groups including the PSNA fighting for State mandated nurse staffing standards. What has this got to do with infection control? Can a nurse who has too many patients carefully wash her hands between patients, or give strict attention to time- intensive infection control protocols? Nursing research shows that the more patients a nurse has, the more adverse events happen to patients, including infections.
It is high time the ANA joined with the PSNA and other state nurses associations that support legislated nurse staffing standards. Is anyone on this thread with me on this, and can direct me to how and where to to work within the ANA to champion legislated staffing standards? Current ANA policy is opposed.
Hello Nurse Claudia,
Thank you for your years of service as a nurse and efforts to elevate the nursing profession. Although you may be retired, it is clear that your dedication to patient safety and the nursing profession continues on.
Nurses throughout the United States are faced with inappropriate staffing that presents significant challenges to patient care, such as effective infection prevention and control practices as you mentioned. Without appropriate levels of nurse staffing, patients everywhere are at an increased risk for hospital-acquired infections and other adverse events.
During the 2022 session of Membership Assembly, which is held yearly to identify and discuss key issues impacting nurses and to determine policy and positions for the American Nurses Association, nurse staffing was brought forward as a topic for discussion. With a 95% vote yes, the following recommendations were approved, representing a significant change from previously held policy and positions:
1. ANA supports safe patient standards including ratios that are acuity and setting specific as per nursing assessment, and enforceable.
2. ANA will engage with Constituent Member Organizations (C/SNAs) to develop further details regarding standards, implementation, and enforcement.
3. Collaborate with Organizational Affiliates and C/SNAs to begin to develop evidence-based staffing standards for all nursing disciplines for publication.
ANA has also partnered with other professional organizations to convene the Nurse Staffing Task Force, which recently released Imperatives, Recommendations, and Actions that nurses, leaders, and policymakers can take to address the nurse staffing crisis. The link to download the full work of the Nurse Staffing Task Force can be found on the ANA Nurse Staffing Task Force webpage.
Safe staffing is one of ANA’s core federal policy priorities, and ANA works closely with constituent and state nurses associations such as PSNA to monitor and advocate for state-level policies. ANA President Jennifer Mensik Kennedy recently provided a statement in support of Pennsylvania’s nurse staffing bill HB 106 during state congressional hearings. In the statement, President Mensik Kennedy affirmed ANA’s support of enforceable, minimum nurse staffing ratios as an approach in reducing patient harm, improving quality outcomes, and ensuring the creation of a healthy work environment.
We urge you and others to continue to advocate for nurse staffing and learn more about actions you can take to champion for appropriate nurse staffing standards for nurses and future generations of nurses.
This is so important. You can take someone's life by being careless or save someone's life by being cautious.
Glad to see incivility included in this topic and discussion in addition to the sometimes more noticeable bullying & violence.
On most surveys evaluating stress they score major life events that hopefully occur infrequently like moving, death in family, changing jobs etc. but they also cover the smaller repeated daily hassles like commute traffic, spilling coffee, or missing lunch.
The daily irritants or hassles become almost ignored as we focus on just getting through the day but the impact of them on our stress response is a steady climb upwards if we don't have the ability to reset.
Dealing with incivility is a frequent stressor that not only impacts our health but also self esteem, self confidence and self worth. It's impact can be devastating especially when coming from those we should be able to look towards for support and guidance. Excusing it away or repeated apologies afterwards that do not appear authentic help to create an atmosphere of forced tolerance in the workplace & helps create a toxic environment.
It can also be hard to handle when coming from members of the public in a way to halt it without escalating it especially if the policies on what is and is not acceptable fluctuate depending on the day and staff on duty.
All forms - bullying, violence and incivility are equally unacceptable.
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