September marks the 6th Annual Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month. At the Rheumatology Nurses Society (RNS), we utilize this month to bring attention to the fact that nearly 55 million Americans are currently suffering from a variety of rheumatic diseases.
Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month was an initiative created by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) to raise awareness about the more than 200 rheumatic diseases that are prevalent nationally and globally. Rheumatologic diseases are the leading cause of disability; the most common being osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, and fibromyalgia.
For those diagnosed with a rheumatological disease, it can be frightening, overwhelming, and debilitating. Without the proper care, it can quickly deplete patients of energy, motivation and in many cases can lead to depression.
Now more than ever, we need more healthcare workers dedicated to the field of rheumatology. As the understanding of rheumatological disease states increases and therapy options continue to improve outcomes for patients, there is a continuing shortage of rheumatology health care providers educated and equipped to work alongside patients for the long haul. According to a study by the American College of Rheumatology conducted in 2015, the present decline in full-time adult rheumatologists is estimated to cause a 25% decline in full-time adult rheumatology providers (physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants) by 2030. Thus creating a demand exceeding the supply of rheumatology providers by 102%.
The RNS has intentionally positioned itself to advance the education of those who engage in clinical practice and care of adult and pediatric patients. We understand the need for high-quality education and have created opportunities to fill the current gap.
While there is more work to do, we also want to take this month to acknowledge the healthcare professionals who are now present in the field, for their dedication and care for patients with rheumatological diseases. Thank you to all RNS Members and those of you in the field for committing to the greater health of your patients and the future of rheumatology.
We value partnering with and collaborating with organizations that have like-minded missions, visions, and goals. Below you will find a variety of tools for you to utilize that will support you in being the best healthcare provider for your patients. Take time today and look through each of these resources below to take your education, care, and understanding to the next level.
Our top priority is offering high-level education to all of our members. Through our multi-day events, webinars, and online courses, we provide you with the latest in rheumatology education to increase the quality of your patient care and practice. Visit the RNS Learning Center to check out the courses available to you, and keep up to date with our latest course developments and offerings through our RNS Learning Center Newsletter.
Rheumatology Nurse Society Partners
The Rheumatology Nurses Society is proud to partner with a variety of professional, and patient organizations. Get to know them by visiting: https://rnsnurse.org/about/professional-and-patient-organizations/
Want to help us raise awareness for Rheumatic Diseases Awareness Month? Download and share the image below.