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September 30, 2003


Emory Nursing Dean Marla Salmon To Deliver Fifth Annual Mary Lynn Morgan Lecture About the Silent Crisis of the Nursing Shortage

Marla Salmon, RN, ScD, FAAN, dean of Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, will present "The Crisis in Caring: Nursing and the Failing Demographic Equation" at the Mary Lynn Morgan Annual Lectureship on Women in the Health Professions. The event will take place on Wednesday, October 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Michael C. Carlos Museum Reception Hall on the Emory University campus. Parking is available in the Fishburne Parking Deck.

"Our national shortage of nurses reflects failures in public policy, health systems, health care leadership and emerging demographic and social trends that spell disaster for the future of health care in this country," Dean Salmon says. "Most of us assume that when we need nursing care, someone will be there to provide it. We derive a certain amount of comfort from knowing that when we’re at our most vulnerable - sick, dependent, dying or anxious about our health - a trusted, caring nurse will be there for us. The assumption that nurses will be there when we need them is simply no longer true. For the first time ever, this country is facing a shortage of nurses that threatens the health of each of us. And unless urgent measures are taken, this shortage will become increasingly more severe over the next 15 years."

Dean Salmon says, "In many ways, this is a silent crisis. The patient and his or her family have very little control over their care experiences and their voices are seldom heard beyond the health care system. Health care institutions, as well, are reluctant to advertise a lack of nursing care or the poor patient outcomes that are associated with it. Unless this crisis becomes the concern of society at large, the needed remedies will not occur."

Dean Salmon’s lecture will focus on the seriousness of the nursing shortage crisis, its actual causes and what everyday people can do to make a difference. Understanding what is happening now and what lies ahead, she says, are critical to addressing the forces that have created this shortage and to developing solutions that hold promise for the near and long term future.

Dr. Marla Salmon is dean of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, a professor of nursing and public health at Emory, and founding director of the Lillian Carter Center for International Nursing. Her areas of teaching, research and publication include health policy and administration, public health nursing and health workforce development.

Recognized by the National Black Nurses’ Foundation for enhancing the ethnic and racial diversity of the nation’s nursing workforce, Dr. Salmon has served with the World Health Organization and the White House Task Force on Health Care Reform and helped develop initiatives to boost diversity in nursing and meet the needs of underserved populations.

For more information about the lecture, call the Emory Women’s Center at (404) 727-2000. The Mary Lynn Morgan Annual Lectureship on Women in the Health Professions honors one of Emory’s most beloved and respected citizens. Mary Lynn Morgan graduated from Emory University School of Dentistry in 1943. She was elected to the Emory Board of Trustees in 1974, and was the second woman to serve. Named as a trustee emerita in 1991, Dr. Morgan continues to serve on the Board’s Academic Affairs Committee.

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