60 Seconds with ... Terry Kuzman, president, Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities
At press time, leaders of the National Commission on Nursing Workforce for Long-Term Care were hoping to issue their finalized report in mid-March. Terry Kuzman is a prominent nursing home administrator who serves on the commission.
Q: What is the first thing providers must understand about the nurse shortage?
A: There is not only a major shortage today, but the escalation of it going forward is going to multiply. The solution lies with the profession.
Q: What do you mean?
A: This profession has to grab onto this problem and assist in solving it. If the educational component needs instructors, we need to be able to sit down with them and say we have people on our staff we could loan to you. If they're lacking sites where people can do their clinical studies, we have to open up our facilities to them.
Q: What areas need to be stressed?
A: We're learning nurses are not taught management skills, and that their ways of managing should be expanded more into a team approach, where aides see they're a vital part of the whole organization.
Q: What other steps will the commission encourage?
A: The profession needs to learn how to access and use states' workforce investment boards.
Q: How will the final report be most helpful?
A: It is going to show the profession things needed beyond traditional recruitment and retention – at the facility, state and federal levels. It will have a number of best practices in it. (Check for it at www.ahca.org.).