To the editor:
The River Story is a common way to describe the importance of planning as well as prevention.
Very succinctly, the story goes like this: people kept drowning in the river, but the rescuer could not save them all, so he/she went upstream to determine why they were falling into the river and then created a barrier to prevent their falling from the riverbank.
The River Story came to mind when I read of the $9 million in federally allocated funds being contracted between the state of Iowa and Favorite HealthCare Staffing of Overland Park, Kansas. While the company website indicates the recruitment salary at $187.50 for overtime, $330 is being paid by the state of Iowa to this company for an overtime hourly wage.
During World War II, when nurses were in short supply, the nursing curriculum was accelerated in order to train and quickly provide additional Registered Nurses. With minimal curricular creativity and adjustments, the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Board of Nursing could generate additional nursing and respiratory staff. Individuals with expired licenses could quickly be retrained and relicensed. Training in respiratory therapy and nursing could be accelerated to care for patients.
The state of Iowa has two university-sponsored nursing colleges, at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, along with numerous community colleges offering Associate Degree nursing programs.
The federal funds coming to Iowa and being transferred to the Kansas company could have given these institutions a needed financial boost. These dollars could remain in Iowa for growth for current and future educational programs.
To travel even farther upstream: The Reynolds administration and Republican legislators could encourage or even demand vaccination and the wearing of masks to eradicate this horrid pandemic and return Iowa’s lifestyle and economic status to a more normal state.
Mary Weaver, R.N., M.S.N.