American Nurses Association says KSU has top school

Kristen Russo

Students sat in the packed auditorium and listened to a woman who had been in their seats before – literally.

Becky Patton, 1980 Kent State graduate and president of the American Nurses Association, spoke to Kent State students about the nursing industry Friday afternoon in Henderson Hall.

Freshman prenursing major Tia Geiser said she was interested in hearing Patton speak because the American Nurses Association writes the standards nurses follow.

“It speaks highly of Kent State’s nursing program to have the president of the ANA come to Kent,” Geiser said.

Patton said her time at Kent State gave her a strong academic foundation, which helped her a lot as a nurse.

“The nursing program here is the best in the state and, from my experience, one of the best in the country,” Patton said. “When you graduate from Kent State, you are prepared to be a nurse.”

For students to become good nurses, Patton said they should get the best education possible. They also should stay in touch with faculty, join a professional nurses association, be knowledgeable and assertive and know the code of ethics.

“You have increased challenges and increased workload,” she said. “So you have to be constantly vigil to guard against mistakes.”

Patton gave students some background on the American Nurses Association and its instrumental role in making Medicare available. She also talked about the five issues in nursing and what the association is doing to address these issues.

Patton’s top priority is educating people about the challenges in nursing, including the nursing shortage. She said there are 2.9 million registered nurses in the United States. By the year 2020, 1.1 million nurses will be needed just to replace those who have retired or left the field, and there aren’t enough graduating to meet that demand.

But Patton sees these challenges as opportunities.

“If we are going to change the health care system, now is the time that we can,” she said.

For more information about the American Nurses Association, visit

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Kristen Russo at [email protected].


Issues in Nursing

• The nursing shortage

• Appropriate staffing

• Workplace health and safety

• Workplace rights

• Patient safety and advocacy

ANA’s Solutions to the Issues

• Unite all nurses together

• Lobby for health care and public policies

• Give recognition to hospitals with the lowest turnover rates and best health care

• Fund research

• Educate nurses and consumers about the standards of nursing