ANA President, Former BWH Nurse Named Karsh Visiting Professor
Karen Daley speaks with Carol Corbett, RN, nurse educator for Tower 11.
Karen Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN president of the American Nurses Association (ANA), and former Emergency Department staff nurse returned to BWH in May as this year's Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Visiting Professor in Nursing. The annual visiting scholar lectureship sponsors a nationally or internationally known nursing leader to spend one to two days at BWH to engage in conversations with clinical nurses about nursing care, practice and research
Speaking before a packed Bornstein Amphitheater, Daley spoke about the role nurses must play to ensure patients receive the best care. She told her very personal story of how her own life changed in 1999 when she was accidentally pierced by a needle while working as a staff nurse in the Emergency Department, resulting in an HIV and hepatitis C diagnosis.
"I loved being a nurse and one of the toughest things to accept after my diagnosis was that I wouldn't be able to care for patients again," Daley said. "Eventually, I realized that what happened to me was not just happening to nurses here in Boston, but all around the country. That led me into another chapter of my life."
Daley discussed this life altering event as the impetus for her advocacy work, which ultimately led to the passage of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act in 2000. Daley was among those invited to the Oval Office to witness President Bill Clinton sign the law. This federal law mandates the use of safer needle devices in health care practice settings.
Daley continues to advocate not only on behalf of patients, but also on behalf of nurses so that they have the tools and support they need to provide the best care for their patients and families.
"We all have the obligation to uphold the values that have been entrusted upon us and do everything we can to provide a voice for our patients," said Daley, who began her nursing career in the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.
In addition to leading the ANA, which represents the interests of nearly 3.1 million registered nurses, Daley continues to be involved in nursing advocacy projects both at the state and national levels.