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Marylanders participate in health care at white house events.

University of Maryland School of Nursing Dean Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, FAAN, Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative Board Member and small business owner Mark Derbyshire, and Consumer Voices For Coverage Leadership team member and small business owner Brian England, were among the 120 participants posing questions to President Obama at a town hall meeting on health care at the White House on June 24. "Questions to the President: Prescription for America" was broadcast on ABC that evening as a special edition of "Primetime," moderated by Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer.

"It is a tremendous honor and a tremendous opportunity to raise the awareness of both President Obama and the American public to one of the fundamental challenges to achieving high-quality, low-cost health care: insufficient educational capacity in our nursing schools," said Dr. Allan. Nurses are the single largest group of health care professionals and are critical to realizing the new mandate of disease prevention, a central precept of the nursing model of health care. Moreover, as physicians have progressively moved out of the primary care arena in favor of more lucrative specialties, nurse practitioners have stepped in to fill the gap.

Yet thousands of prospective students eager to enter the nursing profession are turned away from colleges and universities each year because there are not enough teachers to educate them. Nursing educators must have advanced degrees, usually doctorates, which means more years of schooling and more college debt. What they get in return are longer hours and lower salaries than their colleagues in clinical practice.

"We are facing rising demand for health care services from a rapidly aging population of baby boomers, and at the same time the nation is wisely shifting its focus to prevention rather than cure. This creates increased pressure on the nurse workforce, which in turn heightens the demand for educators," said Dr. Allan. "We cannot safeguard the long-term health of the U.S. population, nor stop health care costs from devouring our economy unless we make a significant investment in nursing education."

On June 22 the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative's Vinny DeMarco and Board Member Bishop Douglas Miles were honored to be at the White House Rose Garden to watch President Obama sign the landmark, life-saving new law that will authorize the FDA to regulate tobacco products for the first time. As the President said, this law will save many children from the horrors of tobacco addiction.

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Title Annotation:MNA Legislative News
Publication:Maryland Nurse
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2009
Words:404
Previous Article:MANS President talks to Obama.
Next Article:MNA Lobby Day 2010.
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