Mary Beth Kingston, R.N., president of the AHA’s American Organization for Nursing Leadership, spoke today at the first of three regional forums being held to gather input for a forthcoming report from the National Academy of Medicine on the Future of Nursing 2020-2030. Kingston discussed ways that nurses are instrumental in helping to achieve health equity and reduce disparities in health care, the theme of today’s meeting. “Nurse leaders support diversity and inclusion by advocating for the resources to meet the needs of their diverse patient populations,” said Kingston, who serves as chief nursing officer at Advocate Aurora Health, Milwaukee. Citing an example from her own health system, Kingston described a nurse-led nutrition screening and education program that has reduced hospital readmission rates and lengths of stays, producing significant cost savings. She asserted that nurse leaders will serve as “agents of change” in the strategic effort to shift the focus of care to health and wellness.

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