10/4/02 - American Nephrology Nurses' Association Releases Position Statements on Nursing Shortage, Organ Donation

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October 4, 2002


Information: Janet D’Alesandro

(856) 256-2422; janetd@ajj.com

American Nephrology Nurses’ Association Releases Position Statements on Nursing Shortage, Organ Donation

NURSING SHORTAGE: Without nurses who have expertise in nephrology, quality outcomes for patients with kidney disease cannot and will not be achieved.

– ANNA position statement

PITMAN, NJ – Responding to the alarm bell that has been ringing for America’s nursing shortage, the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA) has released a position statement describing implications of the shortage for nephrology patients and actions ANNA supports to forestall serious consequences.

In the statement, The Impact of the National Nursing Shortage on Quality Nephrology Nursing Care, ANNA reports that End stage renal disease is largely a disease of the elderly, and that as the population ages, increasing numbers of Americans will require nephrology care. ANNA also cites statistics showing that the rise in demand is on a collision course with a shrinking RN workforce.

The statement warns of adverse patient outcomes and reduced quality of care. It also outlines important steps ANNA is taking to combat the shortage. These include partnering with nursing and other organizations to develop programs addressing the shortage; attracting nurses into nephrology; educating and mentoring nurses; and encouraging nursing research. ANNA also supports financial incentives and programs for nursing education and employment of immigrant nurses who meet U.S. standards when it does not disadvantage their own countries.

ORGAN DONATION: As the organ shortage grows more severe, some leaders in the transplant and academic communities have suggested that altruism alone is not meeting the need...

– ANNA position statement

The number of patients on waiting lists for organ transplants rises every year while the number of cadaveric donors has grown at a much slower pace, according ANNA’s position statement, Financial Incentives for Organ Donation. A number of national initiatives to boost organ donations has not alleviated the shortage, and thousands of patients on waiting lists still die every year.

The National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) banned financial compensation for organ donation in 1984 to prevent brokerage of kidneys from living donors. In the position statement, ANNA joins other organizations by pointing out that financial incentives may increase the number of cadaveric organs and help ease the shortage. The statement says that research on the impact of financial incentives is urgently needed, and along with other concerned leaders, ANNA endorses well-designed studies.

Full-text of both position statements are available on the ANNA Web site, www.annanurse.org. For more information, contact the ANNA National Office at (888) 600-2662; (856) 256-2320; fax (856) 589-7463; e-mail anna@ajj.com.


ANNA is a professional nursing association comprised of more than 12,000 nephrology nurses. The association is dedicated to advancing nephrology nursing practice and positively influencing outcomes for patients with kidney or other disease processes requiring replacement therapies through advocacy, scholarship, and excellence.