Karen Daley, M.S.’04, Ph.D.’10, president of the American Nurses Association, returned to campus on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 to deliver the spring semester’s Pinnacle Lecture, titled “Leading the Charge: A Nursing Agenda in the Age of Health Care Reform.”
She began by noting that many of issues brought up during the debate on the Affordable Care Act—access, quality, and cost—are very familiar to nurses. However, she pointed to a “perfect storm” of factors that could cause the Affordable Care Act to fall short of its goals of meeting the health needs of the greater population. Those factors include an unsustainable cost trajectory for health care, the aging of the baby boomer generation, and a shortage of providers, both primary care physicians and nurse practitioners. “The focus for me as a nurse,” Daley said, “is about shifting the conversation away from illness care to a conversation about wellness and prevention in this country.”
Daley also highlighted the American Nurses Association’s history of support for health care reform. She noted that the ANA was the only health care organization that supported Medicare in 1965. The ANA supported the Affordable Care Act, and was one of five health care organizations to stand with the federal government in its recent defense of the act in the Supreme Court.
Daley was elected president of the American Nursing Association, which represents the interests of 3.1 million nurses, in 2010. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and is a past president of the Massachusetts Association of Registered Nurses and the Massachusetts Center for Nursing.
Established in 2010, the Pinnacle Lecture Series brings a national nursing leader to Boston College each semester to discuss issues at the forefront of health care today.