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According to FierceHealthFinance, hospitals employed just over 5 million people nationwide at the end of January, adding 23,700 jobs during the month. That is up 188,800 compared to January 2015, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Overall the health care sector has been credited with creating a large number of jobs within the US economy.
Since being endorsed by the Institute of Medicine in 2010, the number of nurse residency programs in the United States has been growing steadily, reports Hospitals & Health Networks. These programs help new graduate nurses achieve their professional goals and provide post-academic specialty training while addressing issues of nurse retention for employers and less reliance on agency nurses.
Health care jobs accounted for 6 of the top 10 slots in the U.S. News & World Report's ranking of the 100
Best Jobs, reports FierceHealthFinance.
Occupations included nurse
anesthetist, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, pediatrician, and anesthesiologist.
Rankings are based on salary, work-life balance, stress levels, and room for
advancement. Registered nurses appears in the rankings at 22.
In an opinion article for The New York Times, David Bornstein, author of "How to Change the World," highlights the many ways hospitals have focused efforts in recent years to reduce harm to patients. These include reducing hospital-acquired infections, preventing bed sores, blood clots and falls, and the early detection of sepsis. Nurses and nurse leaders have a critical role to play in all these efforts, and should be vocal in the pursuit of greater patient safety.
According to a study published in Health Services Research, Magnet-designated hospitals, accredited nationally for nursing excellence, receive higher ratings from patients, reports FierceHealthcare. In a comparison of HCAHPS survey data for 212 Magnet hospitals and 212 similar non-Magnet hospitals, a patient's hospital experience correlates to the care he or she receives from nurses.
In a First Friday Google Hangout event hosted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the importance of nurses in building a culture of health was highlighted. Jennifer Thew, RN, reports for HeathLeaders Media that the event takeaway was “nurses need to make authentic connections with patients, residents, and community member and to drive innovation.”
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, house calls are replacing hospital stays for some chronically ill older patients as a result of a growing trend in home-based primary-care practices. The report cites a Medicare demonstration project called Independence at Home that provides home-based care with teams directed by physicians and nurse practitioners for more than 8,400 beneficiaries. In its first year, participating practices saved over $25 million.
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Newport Beach-based Global Transitional Care, the nation’s first Medicare-approved, third-party transitional care provider, began taking patients in July. Transitional care is a new category of health care under Medicare, with its own billing category. It is limited to a 30-day post-discharge period and focuses on clinical oversight and coordination of care rather than daily living assistance. According to the Orange County Register, each GTC patient is assigned a nurse practitioner and an RN, who make initial contact with the patient in the hospital. Then the NP performs an at-home assessment soon after discharge, and the patient has 24/7 access to the care team for the next month.
Children's Health System of Texas has expanded its one-year telemedicine system pilot to include 57 schools, reports the Dallas Business Journal. The program connects school nurses with physicians from Children's Health Pediatric Group for video consultations. They use tools with video and photo capabilities, including stethoscopes, ear, nose and throat scopes, and derma scopes, that allow off-site physicians to diagnose common illnesses and send prescriptions to the child's preferred pharmacy.
Health care systems have been looking to the hospitality industry to learn how to improve patient experience since Medicare began using patient satisfaction surveys to help calculate hospital payments. Jayson Marwaha, a Brown University medical student and health care contributor for Quartz, believes hotels are a flawed role model, explaining that “hospitals should be following successful hotels’ lead in driving a culture change among their nurses, rather than investing in costly—and unnecessary—luxury amenities.”
Hospitals across the country, from Vermont to Arizona, are offering nurses sign-on bonuses and relocation packages as incentives to join and stay at their organizations, according to a report in FierceHealthFinance. Much of the effort, however, is focused on attracting experienced nurses rather than new graduates.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri hospitals are making strides in protecting nurses from workplace injuries, since the state became one of 11 in the nation with laws or regulations requiring facilities to adopt safety initiatives. For example, Mercy Hospital Springfield saw injuries drop by 70% after installing lifts and other equipment and developing a patient handling program. Patients are also benefiting with fewer falls, skin tears, and pressure ulcers with the use of lifting equipment.
A new book out this fall, entitled Nurses as Leaders in Healthcare Design: A Resource for Nurses and Interprofessional Partners, will showcase nurse-led innovations and trends in healthcare design, reports Healthcare Design Magazine. According to Jaynelle Stichler, a nurse and an executive editor of the book, “Design has now become a career option for nurses, which actually is very appropriate since Florence Nightingale was the first healthcare architect, if you will, who brought in a lot of the attributes of the healing environment.”
The Chicago Tribune recently spotlighted the role of hospice nurses who work with patients nearing the end of their lives. Barbara Metzger, a hospice nurse since 2004, describes how she works with both the patient and the family. “You're trying to make your patient's last days as comfortable as possible while preparing the family for what's going to happen.” According to U.S. Department of Labor data cited in the article, the demand for hospice nurses is expected to grow 19% by 2022.
The changing health care system
and growing number of insured patients is increasing the influence of nurse
practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA) in the delivery of care in
America. According to a USA TODAY
analysis of federal data, Medicare billing records show 15% more NPs and 11%
more PAs received payments in 2013 than in 2012 while the number of general
practice physicians paid dropped by 5%. The data shows health care organizations are taking
steps to better utilize non-physician practitioners to the full extent of their
It’s no secret that nurses spend the most time
directly caring for patients and interacting with their families. As a result,
nurses are ideal advocates for geropalliative care, reports Nurse.com. Nurses can provide valuable insight when it is time to shift
focus from curing clinical syndromes to applying care that will lessen pain and
confusion and provide comfort in a patient's final days.
There is hope that
aging patients will have better access to palliative care if a proposal is
approved to have Medicare reimbursement for end-of-life discussions with health
care providers. According to a New York
Times report, the plan would allow qualified professionals, including
doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, to be reimbursed for
face-to-face meetings with a patient and any relatives or caregivers the
patient wants to include.
to a study by a team of Kaiser Permanente nurses published in Health Care Management Review, “patient
and nurse outcomes in Kaiser hospitals were significantly better compared with
non-Magnet hospitals” due to significantly better nurse work environments,
staffing levels, and more nurses with bachelor's degrees. Yahoo! Health reports on the study and why nurses are essential
to the success of a hospital, improving patient outcomes and decreasing mortality.
Nurses with Cleveland Clinic's Neurointensive Care Unit have conducted research into the benefits of early mobilization protocols for patients with primary neurologic injury, including seizures, stroke, or head trauma. They demonstrate the important role nurses, especially those with advanced degrees, play as clinicians and researchers and the advancement in care that is made possible by interprofessional team collaboration.
According to Patricia Morton’s recent op-ed in Newsday, Americans are applying to nursing school in record numbers. Unfortunately, many qualified applicants, including more than 80,000 in 2012, are rejected due to a shortage of nursing faculty, especially those with doctorates. Morton goes on to describe how nurses with doctorates, currently just 1% of U.S. nurses, “combine the scientific elements of health care research with the more practical side of patient care” and their potential as health care entrepreneurs.
The number of men entering the nursing profession has been increasing over the past 4 decades, reports Jackie Valley, a health care reporter with the Las Vegas Sun. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, about 2.7% of registered nurses were men in 1970, compared with 9.6% in 2011. Valley points to the growing number of men enrolling in nursing programs in Southern Nevada, which Kaplan University School of Nursing has also experienced.
According to a report from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, the 2014 primary care nurse practitioner (NP) graduate rate totaled 14,400, more than 800 over the previous year. In a blog for Health Affairs, Joanne Pohl, Debra Barksdale, and Kitty Werner compare this surge in primary care NPs to the relatively flat growth in primary care residents. They go on to describe the need to eliminate the barriers to NP full scope of practice to take full advantage of the expanded access to quality primary care services made possible by the Affordable Care Act.
Many nurse scientists “come to research because they see a problem in the clinic that needs a research-based solution,” writes Kendall Powell, in the journal Nature. However, she reports a shifting trend as younger nurses are being encouraged to enter PhD programs soon after becoming licensed registered nurses. As researchers, nurses can ultimately improve care and quality of life for patients on a large scale. Employment opportunities for nurse scientists include positions in the military, academia, hospital-based research organizations, and health care policy think tanks, among many others.
Dentist, nurse practitioner, and physician are the top three health care jobs for growth, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. An estimated 37,100 new nurse practitioners will be needed by 2022, reports the Chicago Tribune. Nurses who want to become Advanced Practice Registered Nurses will need to earn a nurse practitioner degree, pass a certification exam and specialty-specific board certification, and secure a state-specific license.
In March, Nebraska became the 20th state to adopt a law making it possible for nurses with advanced degrees to practice without a doctor’s oversight, reports The New York Times. Maryland passed a similar bill into law in May, and eight more states are considering legislation on nurse practitioner autonomy, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. The article goes on to showcase why rural states, like Nebraska, may have the most to gain from this national movement to remove scope of practice restrictions on nurses and allow APRNs to order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, and administer treatments independently.
Removing unnecessary restrictions on the scope of practice for advanced practice nurses (APRNs) is seen as a faster, better, and cheaper path to addressing the national shortage of primary care physicians. This blog post at Forbes.com takes a specific look at the potential impacts in North Carolina.
According to a Harris Poll, half of more than 500 nurses surveyed said they had seen a medical error caused by a lack of coordination among medical devices. In addition, more than two-thirds said they spend at least an hour per shift dealing with devices. This NPR report looks at the need for greater coordination among devices and communication standards for device makers.
A federal effort aimed at reducing infant mortality and improving children’s health by educating new mothers has spread to some 800 cities and towns since 2010 and reached more than 115,000 mothers and children, according to a New York Times report. The home visiting programs are likened to the work of public health advocate and nurse Lillian Wald and Dr. S. Josephine Baker in the late 1800s, which helped poor mothers and their babies in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
In an interview with FierceHealthcare’s Ilene MacDonald, Leslie Neal-Boylan, PhD, CRRN, APRN-BC, FNP, says nurses must recognize the divide between those who work at the bedside and those who don't directly provide patient care and serve in academic, research, or leadership roles. Neal-Boylan goes on to say that full-time clinical nurses don't understand what nurse leaders are trying to accomplish with policy and vice versa. Do you agree?
Since 2007 Medicare has required hospitals to collect and report information about patient satisfaction, and for the past 3 years, the federal government has considered survey results when setting pay levels for hospitals. This article from Kaiser Health News looks at strategies some hospitals around the country have used to improve their patient satisfaction including psychological screening methods in hiring practices and better communication between nurses and physicians.
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