Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

CREATING NEW MAPs for Nursing Education: The Timing Is Right

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

CREATING NEW MAPs for Nursing Education: The Timing Is Right

Article excerpt

2010: A "NEW YEAR" OR "ANOTHER YEAR"? I prefer the first phrase as a descriptor of the opportunities we face as nurse educators. As we build an inclusive nursing education infrastructure to help repair a broken health care system, we, like those before us, shape our his~ tory. That history will be developed within the confines of an uncertain health reform agenda as we work with overlapping political, educational, practice, and health care parameters in an unstable economy built on decades of flawed thinking.

Caring and business have collided, forcing adjustments in our ways of thinking and doing nursing. For the first time in history, organized medicine has supported health care reform. From the White House, Michelle Obama focuses our attention on childhood obesity. One in three of our country's children are obese, the first group of children in many years with a predicted lifespan shorter than that of the adults who raise them. The HlNl pandemic, recent disasters in densely populated areas, and the growing burden of chronic conditions remind the world of the need for nurses and others to be firmly educated in public health matters and systems thinking. Our nursing students must learn to think holistically, from an individual perspective to a systems-level perspective.

Health care costs and profits are weighty forces in the struggle for change from a sickness to a wellness and prevention orientation. Of each dollar spent for health care today, $.75 goes to the care of disease, with $.08 spent on prevention. Historically, nursing has always embraced, taught, and practiced wellness and prevention. Thus, I find it ironic that groups and businesses are marketing those ideas as new ventures in health care. Sadly, it was economic issues, not necessarily human concerns, that finally tipped our country toward those historical nursing ideals.

Think of the founders of our profession and how they must have envisioned their world of care and prevention. We are fortunate to build on the work of extraordinary leaders who have left us their writings, maps on which to build. …

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