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Beth Battaglino, RN-C, CEO of HealthyWomen

Beth brings a unique combination of sharp business expertise and women's health insight to her leadership of the organization. Beth has worked in the health care industry for more than 25 years helping to define and drive public education programs on a broad range of women's health issues. She launched and has expanded the brand. As a result of her leadership, HealthyWomen was recognized as one of the top 100 women's health web sites by Forbes for three consecutive years, and was recognized by Oprah magazine as one of the top women's health web sites. HealthyWomen now connects to millions of women across the country through its wide program distribution and innovative use of technology.

Beth is responsible for the business development and strategic positioning of HealthyWomen. She creates partnerships with key health care professionals and consumer groups to provide strategic, engaging and informative award-winning programs. She serves as the organization's chief spokesperson, regularly participating in corporate, non-profit, community and media events. She also is a practicing nurse in maternal child health at Riverview Medical Center- Hackensack Meridian Health, in Red Bank, NJ.

In addition to her nursing degree, Beth holds degrees in political science, business and public administration from Marymount University.

To stay sane, she loves to run and compete in road races. She enjoys skiing and sailing with her husband and young son, and welcoming new babies into the world.

Full Bio
We All Trust Nurses, Now Let’s Support Them

We All Trust Nurses, Now Let’s Support Them

As a maternal-fetal medicine nurse, the recent finding that nurses are America’s most trusted profession does not surprise me. So what do these statistics mean for women’s health and for health care more broadly?

Expert Perspectives

For the 18th straight year, nurses ranked as America’s most trusted profession, according to Gallup. More than 80 percent of the 1,000-plus adults surveyed said that nurses’ honesty and ethical standards were “high” or “very high.” 

As a maternal-fetal medicine nurse, this statistic does not surprise me. Every time I work with patients and their families, I see how nurses fill the gaps in the health-care system, tying good medicine together with a holistic human touch.  

When I look more closely at Gallup’s data, however, I am surprised by how consistent this trust is across categories. Male and female, conservative and liberal, white and non-white—the numbers are nearly the same. Americans trust nurses. 

So what do these statistics mean for women’s health and for health care more broadly? 

First, the Gallup finding reminds me of what many experts are already saying: That nurses have a vital role to play in fixing health care. Over the past few years, I have been pleased to see the increasing attention paid to nurses as innovators. 

For example, Johnson & Johnson created a Nurse Innovation Fellowship to support nurse entrepreneurs, while nurse-entrepreneur Rebecca Love, the first nurse to have her TEDx talk featured nationally on, has organized nurse “hackathons” through SONSEIL, a new professional society that supports nurse leaders. I hope we will continue to see new types of support for nurse-led health-care innovation.

Second, I hope that the profession of “nurse practitioner” will be added to future Gallup studies.  Nurse practitioners, who may specialize in family medicine, women’s health or other areas, are licensed to diagnose and prescribe, like a doctor, but their degree of autonomy is determined by state law. They exist in a middle ground between registered nurses and physicians. 

Research shows that health outcomes with nurse practitioners are similar to physicians, while often saving money, increasing patient satisfaction and reducing the length of hospital stays. And many public health experts argue that nurse practitioners—whose salaries are significantly lower than doctors’—are an important part of the solution to the shortage of primary care providers nationally. Nurse Practitioners deserve to be understood as a distinct profession, one that links the best of nursing with the best of medicine.

Finally, I ask why, if nurses are America’s most trusted profession, those same nurses are not happier and healthier. I know firsthand how many nurses are neglecting their own health, which is why we encourage all nurses to join our #BeHealthiHer movement. According to research conducted by the American Nurses Association, nurses are less healthy than the general public: They not only get less sleep but also tend to weigh more and experience more stress. As Sophia Thomas, president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, recently told HealthyWomen, chronic stress can lead to physical symptoms. New research also shows that nurses are at high risk for occupational burnout. 

Nursing remains a female-dominated profession—more than 90% female in 2017, according to the National Nurses Workforce Study—and therefore nurses may be undervalued and underpaid. While a number of initiatives aim to improve nursing as a profession, we need to do more on a policy level to ensure that nurses are fairly treated and fairly compensated.

As we move forward together, let’s listen to our nurses, look to them for solutions, and ask what we can do to support them. 

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