CSG Associates in Action: Nurses at the Forefront of the Fight Against COVID-19

By Maggie Mick, CSG chief advancement officer

Associates in Action articles highlight CSG Associates’ philanthropic efforts and public-private partnerships throughout the states.

Nurses have always answered the call to serve their country and communities during times of crisis, and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is no different. The outbreak has shifted and intensified the advocacy efforts by the American Nurses Association (ANA), a CSG Associate, which represents the interests of the 4 million registered nurses in the U.S.

There have been ongoing challenges with the supply and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during times of supply chain shortage, patient surge and evolving evidence on COVID-19. ANA has pressed the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) for science-based information to protect nurses and their loved ones and met with and sent a letter to President Trump urging him to utilize the full authority of the Defense Production Act (DPA) in order to produce the N95 respirators, masks, ventilators and other emergency medical supplies that hospitals are desperately in need of to care for COVID-19 patients. They also urged support of federal legislation, the Medical Supply Chain Emergency Act of 2020, which would force implementation of the DPA for immediate ramp up manufacturing of medical supplies and create a coordinated procurement and distribution process to states and health care facilities.

As important as supplies, a sufficient workforce is critical. ANA is working with the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) around strategies to utilize student nurses to increase the nursing workforce. ANA and its state affiliates are appreciative of executive orders issued by governors across the country that have afforded boards of nursing and other regulators to grant licensure waivers or to make adjustments to applicable statutory and administrative provisions. These have enabled graduate nurses to secure a temporary license and permit to work while waiting for the National Council Licensure Examination testing center to reopen in their area. In addition, these efforts help remove barriers to practice for advanced practice registered nurses such the need for a collaborative practice agreement, chart reviews, and supervision as well as exemptions for inactive or retired licensees wishing to work or volunteer.

During this unprecedented time of fear and stress, nurses are at a high risk for mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. ANA’s ongoing campaign, Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™, has addressed these concerns in its blog post, “Mental Health Help for Nurses.” Visit the website for more information.

The American Nurses Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the ANA, has launched the Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses. Johnson & Johnson, also a CSG Associate, and the TYLENOL brand made a $1.5 million commitment to the launch of this fund. Through this initiative, members of the public can demonstrate their appreciation and support for nurses who are on the frontline caring for patients during this pandemic, despite significant risk to their well-being and safety.

The World Health Assembly designated 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife and ANA will continue to support the nation’s registered nurses and other frontline healthcare providers in safely and effectively responding to the virus and protecting the public.