Betty Long, RN, MHA, founded Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates after guiding several elder family members through the healthcare system. She couldn't help but wonder, what happens to patients who do not have a nurse in the family?
To test her theory that nurse advocates would benefit patients and families, Betty began offering her services for free to friends and word-of-mouth referrals. The response was overwhelming. Betty developed a business plan and incorporated Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates in October 2003. That was 10 years ago!
The Guardian Nurses' philosophy of championing patients' rights to quality healthcare was inspired by the story of Florence Nightingale, often credited with being the "Mother of Modern Nursing." The young nurse, working in overcrowded hospital wards during the Crimean War, noticed an extraordinarily high incidence of respiratory infections among the soldiers. She took the bold step of opening the ward windows, which resulted in a marked decrease in the infection rate. With that small intervention, the first nurse advocate is thought to have saved countless lives.
In the spirit of "The Lady with the Lamp," Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates now lights the way through the healthcare maze for thousands of patients and families.