National League for Nursing Calls on President Bush to Address Nursing Shortage in New Orleans: Lack of Nurses at Crisis Level

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As President Bush visited the Gulf Coast March 1 for the first time in six months, the National League for Nursing asks that he pay attention to the reality of the dire lack of nurses in hospitals and communities in the area.

This shortage of nurses is creating health disparities, inflated costs, and poor quality of health care. The lingering situation in New Orleans is unacceptable for anyone in America seeking access to health care.

As President Bush visited the Gulf Coast yesterday for the first time in six months, the National League for Nursing asks that he pay attention to the reality of the dire lack of nurses in hospitals and communities in the area.

In a letter to the president, NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone said, "This shortage of nurses is creating health disparities, inflated costs, and poor quality of health care. The lingering situation in New Orleans is unacceptable for anyone in America seeking access to health care."

Though the White House says that President Bush has helped make the $110 billion in aid that Congress approved available for rebuilding, education, and rental assistance and that his Cabinet secretaries have visited the region dozens of times, the NLN points out that critical attention has not been paid to the ongoing problem of nurse shortages.

"Adequate health care is not possible in the absence of nurses and there can be no real recovery without it," said NLN president Dr. Toni Bargagliotti. "We look forward to President Bush taking this opportunity to address this urgent issue."

Editors and reporters: For interview opportunities please contact NLN chief communications officer Karen R. Klestzick at 212-812-0376 or via e-mail.

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education offering faculty development, networking opportunities, testing and assessment, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 20,000 individual and 1100 institutional members.

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KAREN KLESTZICK
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