Nursing & Healthcare News
Q&A with Jennifer Mensik Kennedy
The new ANA president on the nursing workforce, telehealth, and health equity
On January 1, Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, RN, Ph.D., MBA, NEA-BC, FAAN, began her two-year tenure as president of the American Nurses Association. Working Nurse asked Kennedy for her thoughts on three current issues facing nursing.
Q: COVID-19 has obviously been a major blow to the nursing workforce. What do you see as the most important elements in rebuilding and strengthening that workforce going forward?
We need to collectively focus on improving the work environment for nurses in all care settings, increasing enrollments into schools of nursing, and retaining but also welcoming back nurses who needed to take a break after the stress of the last few years.
If a nurse needed to take a break from the profession, it wasn’t a failure on them, but rather a failure of the system. We need to ask those nurses to come back, but we also need to fix the system in which they practice.