Aug 03, 2020

In Guest Editorial, Hassmiller Assesses COVID’s Effect on Nursing, Health Care

headshot of Sue Hassmiller

The pandemic has wrought change in every aspect of life, and laid bare the disparities in health care in the U.S. “The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the daily stresses of frontline nurses,” writes Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, in a guest editorial in the July/August issue of the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development. It is also the reason, Hassmiller writes, that the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has delayed the publication date of its report on the future of nursing. Now due out in spring of 2021, the report will include facts about the country’s response to COVID-19, and nursing’s role in that response.

In her assessment of the needs that professional development practitioners must address, Hassmiller notes, “Two things are abundantly clear… (a) Nurses and other frontline health workers will need significant emotional support to continue to serve patients and to prepare for the future of health care, and (b) the rampant inequities, fully exposed by this pandemic, must be addressed at their root.”

Hassmiller is senior adviser for nursing at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and director of The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of AARP Foundation, AARP and RWJF. She is also senior scholar-in-residence and senior adviser to the president on nursing at the NAM.

Though the global health situation requires that the forthcoming NAM report cover more ground, the goal of that report is unchanged, writes Hassmiller: “The overarching task remains the same: to chart a path for our profession to help our nation build a culture of health, reduce health disparities, and improve the health and well-being of the U.S. population in the 21st century.”

Read the editorial. (May be behind a paywall)