The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world, locally and globally, and the nursing profession has been one of the most impacted by the changes, the devastation, and the exposure to the disease. Nurses have been on the front lines and in the spotlight, and no one could have predicted how this pandemic would impact our work flow, our priorities, our expectations, and our resilience.
We know that some aspects of our profession will remain the same, but some will be forever changed. As with any challenge, there is an opportunity for growth, and as nurses, it is our responsibility to learn from our circumstances to improve the way we work in the future. In this edition of On The Pulse, our Facebook Live video series, Dean Patricia Davidson and student moderator Karli McGuinness discuss COVID-19’s impact on the nursing profession with panelists Kevin Ousman, Howard Catton, Pandora Hardtman, and Kaci Hickox.
“We need nurses in leadership. Much of the hardships nurses have experienced amidst COVID-19 resulted from decisions about us made without us. Nurses must have a more prominent voice in public health, we are the largest workforce. So we must put the State of Nursing report into action. What frameworks can we put in place so that nursing can play a lead role in the public health response?”
“We must expose the reality of what nurses have gone through amid COVID-19 to address the situation, and that requires data.”
“What does it mean to come to the table, to be at the table? Nurses are learning that new skill set to communicate at the table, and building out the pipeline to tell the stories from every corner of nursing.”
“Globally, preparing nurses is challenging because low and middle income countries may not have the systems and the tools, they all need to go together. Training isn’t enough when the place of health care delivery doesn’t have the resources.”
“The global health care environment is replicating and reinforcing inequality via the vaccine rollout. Availability is overwhelmingly skewed toward high income countries. equality must be at the heart.”
“The biggest way to move forward is accepting the playing field is not level and never has been. This year it became impossible to ignore, so what are you going to do now?”
About the panelists
Dr. Patricia Davidson, moderator, is dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.
Karli McGuiness, student moderator, is an MSN (Entry to Nursing)/ Certificate in Public Health Advocacy candidate. She is Content Coordinator for the WHO Global Network Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Secretariat biannual Links Magazine. Her previous experience includes working as a Medical Operations Manager and Emergency Department Volunteer at the USC/ Los Angeles County Hospital.
Kevin Ousman, RN, MSN, panelist, World Health Organization Africa Region’s Infection Prevention and Control Coordinator for Health Emergencies. Kevin earned his MSN from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in 2012.
Pandora Hardtman, DNP, CNM, RN, FACNM, panelist, serves as Chief Nursing & Midwifery Officer of JHPEIGO. She has gained 20 plus years of nurse-midwifery experience working in the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa in varying capacities delivering babies and assisting women and families. When not travelling, she continues to serve in socioeconomically and culturally diverse practices in the Atlanta Metro area. She is known for her encouragement of nurse-midwives and her ability to mix -global health administrative, advocacy and clinical duties.
Howard Catton, RN, BSc, MA, panelist, is CEO of the International Council of Nurses (ICN). He joined ICN in April 2016 as the Director of Nursing, Policy and Programs. Through his leadership, his team led the development of ICN policy and position statements, working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international organizations to provide nursing advice on global health challenges and input into formal WHO and United Nations UN decision making meetings and processes. In December 2019, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland appointed Howard as Fellow of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery. Howard qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1988 and has held a variety of nursing posts in England and the United States. He has also worked for the New Zealand Nurses Organization.
Kaci Hickox, RN, MSN, MPH, panelist, is a passionate nursing leader in global infection prevention and control. Kaci has been a nurse for almost 20 years after receiving a BSN from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2002. In 2006 she received a Diploma in Tropical Nursing from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and fulfilled a lifelong dream of working for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)/Doctors Without Borders responses in Burma, Nigeria, Sudan, and Uganda. She obtained her MSN/MPH from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in 2011 and then completed the Centers for Disease Control’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) in 2014. She became certified in infection control (CIC) and led health care systems improvement projects for MSF in their Amsterdam, Netherlands headquarters. Kaci currently works for an Alaskan Native health care organization as their infection prevention and control manager.
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