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Nursing Faculty Addresses Panel on Nurses Day at Ohio Statehouse

Dr. Kay Ball, Associate Professor of Nursing, spoke at Nurses Day at the Statehouse on Weds., Feb. 27. Nurses and nursing students from across the state attended this annual event to discuss policy matters with fellow nurses and legislators. The theme of the sold-out event was “Enter the Conversation, Change the World.”

During a panel discussion that included Brian Kosson, President of the Ohio Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Ball explained the role that Otterbein faculty play in moving forward with initiatives and responding to the needs of the profession. “Faculty is active in clinical practice so we are able to provide up-to-date instruction while keeping our finger on the pulse of the community,” she explained.

“For example, because of a partnership with Ohio Health, an OR director asked us to create a perioperative nursing course elective. She realized the nursing shortage that is being predicted in the surgical environment because of nurses retiring, nursing programs not offering perioperative nursing, and many other reasons. So as partners, we created a very popular perioperative nursing course that now provides a pool of nurses who are interested in working behind those closed doors in surgery. This has shown to save the hospital money and time for staff orientation. Also we’ve partnered to offer other specialty programs, like our nurse anesthesia program with Grant Hospital.”

Ball stated to the panel that Otterbein “supports legislative initiatives that provide quality of care and enhance access to care for all Ohioans.” She outlined the following as legislative priorities for Ohio and the entire country: “Promoting nursing practice to the full extent of the nurse’s education and training; removing barriers to nursing practice; and supporting the movement of healthcare toward inter-professional practice.”

She went on to say that the priorities align with recommendations from the Institute of Medicine’s report on Nursing and decades of research. “Evidence and data truly demonstrate that nursing care DOES make a difference. It reduces mortality, saves lives, enhances quality of life, and is truly cost effective. Legislators in Ohio need to hear from us, learn the evidence, and know that we, as nurses, will work with them for workable healthcare reform,” she added.

Otterbein offers three levels of nursing programs: BSN; MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Leader, ADN to MSN (FNP & CNL); and Nurse Anesthesia in cooperation with Grant Hospital. Last year Otterbein graduated its first class of DNP professionals.