The American Nurses Association (ANA), the largest nursing organization in the U.S., is contributing to national efforts to eliminate the scourge of vaccine-preventable diseases through its new Bringing Immunity to Every Community project, which focuses on maximizing registered nurses’ key role in increasing vaccination rates.
Under a partnership arrangement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Bringing Immunity to Every Community aims to increase the knowledge and competency of the nation’s 3.1 million registered nurses in immunization; encourage nurses to be vaccinated; and position nurses as leading advocates for immunization among health care professionals, patients and the public.
A major component of the two-year initiative is a new Web site, www.ANAimmunize.org, launched today that will be a one-stop shop for resources nurses need to be competent, educated advocates for immunizations. The site is designed as a gallery of nurse-specific resources, categorized out by nursing specialties, settings, and roles in immunization. It will also be a place for ANA to connect with nurses through interactive elements, such as an RSS news feed, link to social media sites, a personal vaccine assessment tool, and an online survey.
"Bringing Immunity to Every Community and the new Web site is an extension of our commitment to see registered nurses serve as leaders not only in encouraging their patients and the public to get recommended and necessary vaccinations, but in setting the example for health care workers to get vaccinated," said ANA President Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR. "The more knowledge we have as nurses, the better able we will be to answer our patients’ questions, address their concerns, and correct common misconceptions about immunizations."
Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases. With preventing disease and enhancing wellness a fundamental core of nursing, ANA is naturally positioned to raise awareness of the benefits of immunization, especially among parents to ensure that infants are fully immunized. ANA also has long been a leading voice for increasing seasonal influenza vaccination rates among patients and health care professionals who treat them. The immunization effort has taken on increased urgency over the past year with the public health emergency posed by the H1N1 pandemic. ANA urged all members to get both the seasonal influenza and H1N1 vaccines to protect themselves, their patients and their families. The ANA is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation’s 3.1 million registered nurses through its constituent member nurses associations, its organizational affiliates, and its workforce advocacy affiliate, the Center for American Nurses.