October 1, 2013 — a day I was glad to see as a healthcare professional. I recall my first real interest in national health insurance, back as an undergraduate nursing student at Northeastern University.My student co-op experiences had placed me in Boston’s toughest neighborhoods, back in the 1990’s, and I was seeing the effects of inadequate healthcare throughout the area. At that time, a group of Boston doctors was rallying hard for universal healthcare and I wanted to be on the bandwagon. That group morphed many times over the last decades, and I eventually lost track of them during my years of working and further schooling in nursing. I recall being unhappy with the group because they did not seem “nurse friendly”; but then again, maybe it was nurses who weren’t reaching out hard enough to them… but I’ve digressed.
The Affordable Care Act finally has kicked in and it was a great day, with or without computer glitches and a government shut-down. The fact that computers seemed to crash due to heavy traffic was a good sign! No doubt.
The nursing profession needs to put on fresh new boots in order to prepare for what lies ahead. I believe we’ll see the field become wide open, with lots of new jobs. This would mean an increase in our ranks, requiring stronger leadership than ever before. So let’s do it.