Private Practices vanishing?

Physicians largely will cease to operate as full-time, private practitioners accepting third-party payments, according to a November white paper by the Physicians Foundation and Merritt Hawkins, a physician search firm. The paper is based partly on a survey of 2,400 physicians. Only 26 percent of respondents plan to continue practicing the way they now do in the next one to three years. The remaining 74 percent said they would retire, work part-time, close their practices to new patients, become employed by hospitals or others, seek nonclinical jobs or a combination of other steps. Visit www.physiciansfoundation.org.

Expanding Nurses' Roles

Building on the Institute of Medicine's call to transform nurses' roles under a reformed health care system, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in November launched "The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action." The campaign will work in five states—California, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey and New York—to test ways to implement recommendations to improve nursing education, remove barriers to scope of practice and foster interprofessional collaboration, which can be adapted across the nation. Visit www.rwjf.org.

Smokers Need Not Apply

The trend among hospitals to refuse to hire tobacco users gained traction in 2010 and is picking up steam. ProMedica Health System in Toledo, Ohio, and St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo., are among those that stopped hiring smokers as of Jan. 1. Both now screen job candidates for nicotine. Current employees are encouraged to participate in smoking cessation programs offered by the organizations.

Quality Pays ... Wellness Rules ... RNs Need Jobs

The average salary for U.S. full-time quality professionals, including those in health care, is now $85,289, up from $81,064 in 2008, according to a survey reported in ASQ's Quality Progress magazine. Visit www.qualityprogress.com. ... A growing number of employers require workers to show results from their wellness programs, not just participate in them, to receive incentives, a survey by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health found. More than a third of employers reward only workers who complete a wellness program and 29 percent only reward staff who participate in multiple activities. Visit www.businessgrouphealth.org. ... The California Institute for Nursing & Health Care reports that 43 percent of registered nurses in the state who graduated between May 2009 and March 2010 were unable to land RN jobs. Visit www.cinhc.org.