The Transcultural Nursing Society’s (TCNS) vision and mission seeks “to provide nurses and other health care professionals with the knowledge base necessary to ensure cultural competence in practice, education, research, and administration” and to “enhance the quality of culturally congruent, competent, and equitable care that results in the improved health and well-being for people worldwide” (TCNS.org). Consistent with the vision and mission, the Board of Trustees recently voted to sign TCNS onto a letter, along with many other healthcare organizations, sent to leaders of the US House of Representatives and Senate Appropriations Committees. The letter supports “significant funding increases for programs addressing women’s reproductive health and maternal mortality” and “additional investments that would allow women access to a full range of highly effective contraceptive methods, provide workforce training in patient-centered contraceptive care, and help prevent serious obstetric complications such as post-partum hemorrhage”.
By way of background, the House Appropriations Committee recommendations for 2023 funding include $25 million (within the total appropriation for Health Centers) to support training grants and quality improvement efforts to make available patient-centered contraceptive care within health center primary care setting (H.R. 117-403, pg.44). The Senate version of recommendations addresses Safe Motherhood/Infant Health and recommends increasing the 2022 fiscal year funding by $81 million in 2023. This would provide “programs to improve the health of pregnant and postpartum individuals and their babies, including to reduce disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes” (Draft Explanatory Statement for DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL 2023, pg. 84-85).
Signing on to send the letter to the Chairs, Ranking Member, and Vice Chair of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees is consistent with TCNS programs, services, and goals.
TCNS's participation in sending this letter to Congressional Representatives and Senators is one action that exemplifies, in several ways, the focal areas of TCNS programs and services. These include education, certification, and professional development for nurses and other health care providers; public policy education and civic engagement, including advocacy at local, state, and federal levels; creating and maintaining relationships to increase knowledge, effectiveness, capacity for collective action; building bridges among nonprofit organizations and key institutions to increase partnerships, cooperation, opportunities for…shared spaces, and strengthening non-profit healthcare engagement.
TCNS strives for social change for culturally competent nursing and health care through advocacy for social justice, health equity, and eliminating health disparities. To accomplish this, TCNS works to “strengthen connections” with other groups and promote policy change where appropriate and to “increase knowledge, effectiveness, and capacity for collective action” (TCNS 2019-2024 Strategic Plan, Goal 3).
TCNS has “a place at the table” with other healthcare organizations addressing state and federal policy decisions regarding future changes in healthcare. Partnerships and collaborations with other healthcare organizations, such as the ANA and McUlsky Health Force, have contributed to the TCNS opportunity to promote education of nurses and other healthcare providers in the delivery of culturally competent health care. Such partnerships may have contributed to the invitation for TCNS participation in advocating to Congress for increased funding for healthcare surrounding women’s reproductive and pregnancy healthcare and healthcare for their infants.
Transcultural Nurses are uniquely qualified to conduct research and QI/EBP initiatives that contribute to the dialogue in literature and advance the science and art of the discipline and nursing specialty that is Transcultural Nursing. To that end, TCNS provides opportunities for funding and dissemination of new substantive knowledge in the discipline of transcultural nursing and healthcare across healthcare settings, including maternal and infant health, and across diverse populations.
Research Scholarship and Awards are provided each year and presented at the Annual Conference to provide financial support for TCN relevant research studies or Quality Improvement/evidence-based practice (EBP) initiatives. Opportunities to disseminate findings from these efforts, the latest TCN research, and evidence relevant to practice, education, research, and administration, include presentations at TCNS Annual and Regional Conferences and publication in the Journal of Transcultural Nursing (JTN).
TCNS strives for socially just, equitable, and culturally competent healthcare for all, including maternity and newborn populations. To achieve this goal, the Transcultural Nursing Society supports increased and continuing Congressional-level funding for women’s reproductive health and maternal mortality and infant health programs and policies.
Gayle P. Russell, Ph.D., RN
Transcultural Nursing Society