The pandemic placed unprecedented demands on nurses. ANA responded with seminal guidance.
CRISIS STANDARDS OF CARE
ANA issued guidance on Crisis Standards of Care for the COVID-19 Pandemic. During the pandemic, nurses have practiced in environments demanding a balance between time-limited crisis standards of care and longstanding professional standards of care. This guidance applies to decisions about care made during such extreme circumstances.
COVID-19: EVIDENCE AS A BASIS FOR DECISIONS
Developed by the ANA Center for Ethics and Human Rights, this serves as a guide for establishing ethical practice.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR NURSES AND THE COVID-19 VACCINES
ANA created this document with key principles for nurses and other health care professionals to consider about immunization against COVID-19.
The pandemic and the murder of George Floyd at a police officer’s knee directed a harsh spotlight on the corrosive effects of the nation’s long history of racial injustice and health disparities. ANA, joining with like-minded organizations, raised its voice and pledged substantive actions to address these issues.
“COVID-19 is not the only ‘pandemic’ Americans are facing today. Racism is a longstanding public health crisis that impacts mental, spiritual, and physical health. COVID-19 has exacerbated this crisis and added to the stress in Black and other communities of color, which are experiencing higher rates of infection and deaths.”
ANA PRESIDENT ERNEST J. GRANT, PHD, RN, FAAN
EFFECTING CHANGE FOR RACIAL AND ETHNIC MINORITIES
MINORITY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM AT ANA
In 2020, ANA continued its commitment to developing minority leaders in mental health through the Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) at ANA, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. MFP supports nurses from underrepresented ethnic groups in advancing their post-baccalaureate education, enabling them to assume leadership roles in clinical services and conduct evidence-based research to improve care.
Mental Health Trailblazers — Psychiatric Nurses Speak Up! is MFP at ANA’s podcast featuring the groundbreaking journeys of psychiatric and mental health nurses in their quest to meet the urgent and unmet needs of racial-ethnic minority communities in America.
Nursing practice reflects a constant dialogue between the here and now of patient care and the possibility of better tools, outcomes, and systems of care. The ANA Enterprise supported nurses’ creativity and reimagining of their practice and practice environment.
To kick off the Year of the Nurse, ANA, together with Johnson & Johnson, launched SEE YOU NOW, a podcast series highlighting innovative and human-centered solutions driven by nurses addressing today’s most challenging health care problems.
Creativity reigned in August 2020 at the second annual NursePitch™, a collaboration between ANA and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, sponsored by BD.
The American Nurses Foundation’s Reimagining Nursing Initiative kicked off in January 2020 with an innovation summit. This gathering of nurses, health care and technology thought leaders established a vision and set goals for this ambitious project, which seeks to improve health care access and outcomes for all Americans by transforming nursing practice.
A partnership between ANA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics, Project Firstline prepares nurses and other front-line health professionals to protect themselves, their patients, and their communities from infectious disease threats, including COVID-19. Via foundational and practical resources such as engaging web-based training, easy to access toolkits, partner engagement and mentorship opportunities, Project Firstline offers timely and accurate collaborative learning about infection prevention and control.
Nurses’ role in infection prevention is essential. This program is designed to provide nurses with actionable education and resources in flexible, accessible formats. ANA is deeply committed to reaching every nurse through this collaborate effort.
ANA PRESIDENT ERNEST J. GRANT, PHD, RN, FAAN
ERNEST J. GRANT, PHD, RN, FAAN, NORTH CAROLINA
“There’s a need for more minority participation in clinical studies because COVID-19 is mostly affecting black and brown populations.”
In 2020 ANA President Ernest J. Grant participated in a COVID-19 vaccine phase III clinical trial at the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), motivated in part because the virus has been disproportionately affecting communities of color.
“There’s a need for more minority participation in clinical studies like this because COVID-19 is mostly affecting Black and Brown populations,” Grant said in an interview with UNC Healthcare. “We need to gather enough evidence of whether this vaccine will help in these populations. And if the vaccine is approved, people of color will be more inclined to try it if they know people who look like them participated safely in the trial.”
In addition, “All nurses and healthcare professionals must receive consistent information and ongoing education from their employers, credible public health agencies, the Food and Drug Administration, and other trusted sources about COVID-19 vaccine trials and approval processes,” said Grant. “This is non-negotiable and imperative for nurses to help educate the public.”
This story was originally published in the January 2021 issue of ANA’s official journal, American Nurse in ANA on the Frontline.