March 9, 2020
RALEIGH, NC – Last week brought sobering news to North Carolina, with the announcement that at least two people in the state have contracted the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As the only professional organization for all Registered Nurses in the state, the North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA) is monitoring the situation closely and preparing for major escalation in the coming weeks.
“This is what we train for. A few years ago, it was Ebola or SARS or H1N1. The major difference this time is that the disease couldn’t be contained before it hit our state,” NCNA President Dennis Taylor, DNP, ACNP-BC, NEA-BC said. “But that does not change a thing about the protocols we have put in place or the ways in which we approach this challenge. Nurses get into this profession knowing the risks involved, and we will carry out our duties to protect and care for the people of North Carolina as much as possible.”
An increase of COVID-19 cases will inevitably test the policies and procedures of North Carolina hospitals and healthcare systems. NCNA is in close contact with its counterparts at the North Carolina Board of Nursing, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the North Carolina Healthcare Association, and other local, state, and federal organizations to ensure everyone is working well together. At this point, NCNA executives feel confident that the state’s healthcare system is approaching the outbreak appropriately.
“A recent survey from the American Nurses Association showed that 60 percent of nurses nationwide said their facilities had not provided a coronavirus preparedness plan. However, we have not seen similar concerns from our own members, so we hope North Carolina’s hospitals have taken the opportunity over the last few weeks to prepare appropriately,” NCNA CEO Tina Gordon , MPA, CAE, FACHE, said. “From every conversation I have had with our members, nurses are approaching this with the resolve and steadiness you would hope to see from the most trusted profession in the country.”
Gordon says she understands that many people are worried. NCNA joins other organizations in urging people not to panic but to approach this challenge strategically: North Carolina’s best chance to minimize the impact of COVID-19 will be if everyone does what they can to protect themselves and their families without putting others at risk.
“We want people to give this the seriousness it deserves,” Taylor said. “People buying every last roll of toilet paper are not helping anything, nor is dismissing COVID-19 as something they do not need to worry about. We need people to come together somewhere in the middle if we hope to tackle this as efficiently and effectively as possible.”
NCNA has launched a COVID-19 resources page on its website as a clearinghouse for information pertinent to nurses and nursing, and we will update and expand that resource as the situation unfolds. For more information, visit https://ncnurses.org/resources/coronavirus-covid-19-resources-for-nc-nurses/.
NCNA will be providing a webinar for nurses on COVID-19 on April 6. We see this information as incredibly valuable for nurses and other healthcare providers across the state, so the association will make the webinar available for anyone to view free of charge. For those interested in continuing education credit, attendees of the webinar can earn up to 1.25 Credit Hours (CE will be free for NCNA members and $25 for non-members).
Chris Cowperthwaite, APR
Director of Communications & Outreach
(919) 821-4250 or firstname.lastname@example.org
As the leading professional organization for North Carolina’s registered nurses, we equip nurses at all stages to thrive in an ever-changing healthcare environment. NCNA helps keep North Carolina nurses on the cutting edge of nursing practice, policy, education, and more. Join us as we work to advance nursing and ensure high-quality healthcare for everyone.
Established in 1902, NCNA provides continuing education, networking and legislative advocacy for registered nurses throughout North Carolina. For more information, please visit www.ncnurses.org.
The North Carolina Nurses Association serves the changing needs of its members, addresses nursing issues, and advocates for the health and well-being of all people.
Image from the CDC: (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html)