Part I — Hospital Economics For Nurses: Behind The Scenes of The Business of Health Care
This class investigates the basic economic structures of hospital operations in the United States, focusing on demystifying how executives use the language of economics to justify their decisions. The class also addresses how market-driven medicine encourages nurses to prioritize economic choices over clinical judgment and the moral distress it creates.
Upon completion of Part I of this class, participants will be able to:
- Compare and contrast the basic economic structure of private, for-profit, non-profit, publicly-traded, and publicly owned hospitals.
- Recognize how market pressures outside influence budget decisions inside the hospital industry.
- Identify the downstream health and social consequences of the financial choices hospital executives make.
- Explain the basic economic and moral investments of different kinds of health care systems.
Part II — The Science of Joy and Solidarity
This class examines the immediate and long-term health, social, and economic benefits of organized collective action. It explores a growing scientific consensus that common purpose and solidarity lead to a collective joy that is a significant and necessary variable in healing the broader challenges we currently face
Upon completion of Part II of this class, participants will be able to:
- Describe empirically-verified health benefits and multiplier effects of collective joy for individuals, institutions, and communities.
- Identify organizational structures and practices that support and sustain joyful solidarity.
- Discuss the immediate and long-term results of joyful patient and collective advocacy.
American health care is in crisis, and nurses are on the frontlines. Skyrocketing costs are causing nurses’ patients to get sicker as they delay or forgo necessary care. RNs witness growing frustration and despair in their communities as medical debt undermines economic security and hospital closures exacerbate public health disparities. And on top of it all, nurses are forced to deal with constant health and safety risks and increasingly stressful workplaces as they struggle to provide the highest quality care for their patients and advocate for their communities.
Nurses know that at the root of this crisis is a health care system that puts profits over people. But why does America have the system it has, when virtually every other wealthy nation manages to guarantee health care as a right — and at a fraction of the cost? Why do industry leaders and politicians continue to engage in endless policy debates when a majority of the public already agrees that Medicare for All is the obvious solution to our healthcare crisis? How can nurses help achieve Medicare for All so that America can join the rest of the industrialized world in guaranteeing health care as a right for all people? What else will RNs have to do, beyond winning Medicare for All, in order to bring about real health justice in the United States? This class will provide answers to these questions and will equip nurses with the basic tools they need to put this knowledge into action for the good of their patients, their profession, and their communities.
Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:
- Draw on a wide range of up-to-date research and international comparisons to accurately diagnose the underlying causes of the current health care crisis.
- Describe how a Medicare for All (single-payer) system works, and explain how it will lower health care costs, improve patient outcomes and public health, and safeguard the nursing profession.
- Assess how Medicare for All compares to other health care reform proposals on ethical, clinical, professional, and socioeconomic grounds.
- Articulate which problems Medicare for All will solve and what challenges will remain under a single-payer system.
- Explain how nurses can work with patients, other clinicians and caregivers, and their communities to achieve health justice through Medicare for All and more.
Public Health, Disaster Relief, and Humanitarian Crises
From hurricanes to wildfires, natural disasters have generated an onslaught of humanitarian crises in recent years. This course will explore what factors contribute to the increasing prevalence of such crises, and how science-based RN practice and advocacy can mitigate the suffering caused by this disturbing trend.
During the class, we will hear firsthand accounts from RNs who have deployed to disaster-stricken areas. These experiences will help us understand how the core nurse values of caring, compassion, and community provide a model for addressing humanitarian crisis, and for rebuilding communities in the aftermath of natural disaster.
Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Provide examples of economic processes that exacerbate the health impacts of natural disasters on vulnerable communities.
- Discuss how the core nurse values of caring, compassion, and community relate to disaster relief and humanitarian aid.
- Describe the historic public health role of the nursing profession and why RNs must continue to advocate for robust public health policy beyond the bedside.
- Explain the relationship among public health, pollution, and climate change.