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Nurses Celebrate National Nurses Week by Uniting to Protect Patient Care

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Thursday, May 10, 2012   

PHOENIX - It's National Nurses Week, and just as pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale tended to wounded soldiers, nurses today also are on the front lines, fighting to protect patient care.

Many nurses are rallying around the Affordable Care Act, saying there's too much at stake to take away the law's benefits.

Norberto Molina of Miami, who has worked as a nurse for more than 20 years, says he cared for one little girl who had cancer but was denied coverage by three different insurance companies when she had a recurrence. He credits the Affordable Care Act for changing that practice.

"This is a little 4-year-old girl that was being treated for something, and then three years later she comes back to the same thing. The father told me it was like night and day the problems that he had to go through with the insurance companies."

The Affordable Care Act allows young adults to extend coverage through their parents' plans, makes preventive care free, cracks down on Medicare waste and fraud, and subjects insurance company rate hikes to a more thorough review. Opponents of the act object to its individual mandate. A Supreme Court ruling on the law is expected in June.

Registered nurse Linda Boch of Maryland, who comes from a long line of nurses, says nurses are the voice for their patients when they can't speak up for themselves.

"Nurses Week reminds us that together we can advocate stronger and more unified on behalf of our patients - and that includes fighting for the Affordable Care Act to make sure that it stays in place and even gets better."

Denise Glass, who also works in Miami as a nurse, says that, in just two years since its passage, the Affordable Care Act is improving patients' lives and making it easier for nurses to give their patients the health care they need.

"It's going to help make our jobs much easier, so nurses are going to actually be able to get back to the bedside and do the hands-on care that we love to do."

National Nurses Week runs through Sunday, the birthday of Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.


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