Impasse Implications Impact Illness: Federal Shutdown Has Real Consequences on Patients With Cancer & Nurses

Federal Shutdown Has Real Consequences on Patients With Cancer 
and Their Nurses
 
As the U.S. Congress continues to debate the details of the federal budget, Americans with cancer are stuck in limbo. The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has urged elected officials to find a resolution with appropriate funding for healthcare providers and patients with cancer.
 
“Lives are at stake because cancer isn’t on a furlough. Cancer isn’t voting in the 2014 midterm election, and cancer isn’t looking towards the next political event. Congress needs to solve this now,” said Mary Gullatte, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, AOCN®, FAAN, ONS president. Gullatte is also vice president for Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta, GA.
 
Programs that have real and immediate impact on patients with cancer and their nurses include
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH is the largest source of funding for cutting-edge healthcare research in the world. Results of that research and the country’s previous investment in research is at stake. 
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): As a leader in nationwide efforts to ease the burden of cancer, CDC works with national cancer organizations, state health agencies, and other key groups to develop, implement, and promote effective strategies for preventing and controlling cancer.
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA): This agency establishes science and research programs that help understand tobacco use and public health, including approving drugs for use in cancer treatment.
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA): This agency supports advanced nursing education programs for registered nurses preparing to become nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse administrators, and other specialties requiring advanced education.
 
Paula Rieger, RN, MSN, CAE, FAAN, ONS chief executive officer, added that “the war on cancer never stops, and the federal shutdown is preventing oncology nurses from fully serving their patients. We must move past this dispute to help people during their most vulnerable hour.”
 
It is ONS’s hope that the U.S. Congress finds a solution to the economic issues and puts America back on track to leading the way in providing health care, research, education, and workforce safety.
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