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The Careerwise Nurse with Natalie D’Itri

Funding Our Healthcare System: An Old Model Reimagined with John Silver

The Public Utility Model

John Silver joins Beth to discuss the Public Utility Model, a plan to shift the healthcare insurance structure, bringing needed healthcare to everyone. A central council led by nurses – which would also include physicians and other allied healthcare professionals – would work to provide a better and stronger foundation for preventative healthcare for the people of the US, not just disease care. John talks about his look back through history to find a model that could work as a way to fund healthcare, and found that the public utility companies were managed locally and with great success. Healthcare spending is like a runaway train and is not sustainable. John’s ideas about a new twist with an old concept is worth listening to, as it just may be the way to reimagine the administration of healthcare funding.

They discuss John’s Declaration of Independence for Nurses and why John felt it was critical to put it together. They also talk about John’s program, Nurses Transforming Healthcare, and why it’s critical for nurses in this country to come together as a force to bring impactful change to policies of all sorts.

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About John

Dr. Silver started in healthcare in 1974, and became a Respiratory Therapist in 1978. After receiving his nursing degree, he worked extensively in critical care, including medical and surgical ICU’s, trauma units, burn units, and neurological ICU’s. He spent the last decade of practice in the emergency room. Dr. Silver writes and speaks about political issues in nursing and healthcare. He has presented both nationally and internationally on health policy, the restructuring of healthcare systems, and the role of nursing in that process. He has also spoken to a variety of nurse practitioner groups on political tactics for prescriptive authority and independent practice. In 2004, he led Spectrum’s international on-line chat prior to the election. He also studies nursing leadership and has a particular interest in the political fracturing of nursing. Dr. Silver started at NOVA Southeastern in 2005 as an adjunct professor and became an Associate professor full time in 2010. He teaches a variety of courses including health assessment, the second medical-surgical nursing class, as well as problem solving and the trends in nursing class taught in the last term. He has also taught ethics, health policy, and the introductory class in the Master’s program. Currently, Dr. Silver is a Program Chair in an ADN program of nursing.


  • (00:00) – Welcome to Don’t Eat Your Young •John Silver
  • (00:53) – Intro to John Silver
  • (01:17) – John’s Background
  • (04:43) – The Public Utility Model
  • (10:25) – Insurance
  • (14:06) – Figuring Out the Budget
  • (16:36) – The Central Council
  • (19:10) – The One Step
  • (21:08) – Nurses Transforming Healthcare
  • (24:10) – Declaration of Independence for Nurses
  • (27:55) – Advice & Tips
  • (29:37) – Wrapping Up

Stories from the Incredible World of Nursing.

Welcome to Don’t Eat Your Young, the podcast that brings you stories from the trenches of the incredible, wonderful, exhausting, terrifying, joyous world of nursing with your host, Beth Quaas.