“Nurses and midwives are the backbone of every health system. In 2020 we’re calling on all countries to invest in nurses and midwives as part of their commitment to health for all,” says Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
“It is clear that nursing is the largest component of the health care workforce, and without nursing there would be little health care,” says Demetrius J. Porche, DNS, PhD, PCC, ANEF, FACHE, FAANP, FAAN, Dean of the LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing.
To support the efforts to raise the profile of nursing and midwifery, faculty members at the School of Nursing will author a series of peer-reviewed whitepapers on the important roles of nurses and midwives. Whitepaper topics will include: the role of the nurse and nurse practitioner; how the School of Nursing has contributed to community and health care; how the School of Nursing is helping boost the nursing workforce; and how nursing contributes to health care.
“It is clear that nursing is the largest component of the health care workforce, and without nursing there would be little health care.”
Demetrius Porche, DNS, PHD, PCC, ANEF, FACHE, FAANP, FAAN
“As a leader and pacesetter, we have decided to author these whitepapers as a means to educate the public on nursing’s role in the health care system, create public awareness of the many roles nurses engage in within health care, serve as a recruitment strategy for the profession and highlight the contributions of the School of Nursing,” Dr. Porche says.
Raising the Profile of Nursing
Along with the important scholarship focus of the whitepapers, the School of Nursing continues to help raise the profile of nursing by recruiting potential students from diverse backgrounds and demographics.
“Patients deserve to be served by health care workers who represent them, individuals that they can connect with and who understand their needs,” says Souad Salloum, Nurse Recruiter in the school’s Office of Student Services. “In our nursing school, you see students from a range of ages and backgrounds, men and women, all there because they have desires for a health care career that makes a difference to people.”
“I believe we play a critical role in improving the health care environment when we have students from diverse backgrounds graduating from our program and joining the workforce,” she adds. “We are not only improving our communities by graduating qualified people, but also improving the health care systems that serve our patients.”
Serving the Local Community
Because the School of Nursing is highly involved in local communities, residents already experience the value that nursing brings to individuals and communities.
“Our nursing students are always out in the community working with shelter homes, nursing homes and other local organizations via clinical rotations and service projects,” Salloum explains. “We also collaborate with the LSU Health Sciences Schools on community initiatives. In addition, students in our BSN program take a Community Health Nursing course that allows them to work on health issues that face local communities such as obesity, hygiene, poor nutrition, smoking and much more.”
“Our nursing students are always out in the community working with shelter homes, nursing homes and other local organizations via clinical rotations and service projects.”
Souad Salloum, Nurse Recruiter
School of Nursing students are also active in student organizations that have made some important health impacts recently. Right after the collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel construction site in New Orleans in the fall, the Student Nurses Association (SNA) organized an urgent blood drive and was able to collect 92 units of blood. “This is just one example of how our students are passionate and contribute to improve our communities,” Salloum says.
Because nurses make up a majority of the health care workforce, and their skill is needed more than ever before, the School of Nursing is uniquely positioned to positively impact health on a large scale and empower the nurses who make this impact happen.
“We are excited that the strong focus placed on the nurse and midwife via this notable designation by the WHO will not only draw attention to the important role nurses play in health care, but will also raise the profile of nurses within health care systems and the community,” Dr. Porche says. “We are excited to do our part in showcasing these roles and ensure that nurses are supported and prepared to meet the health care needs of the community, nation and world.”