Hospitals Face Stiff competition for Nurses

Increased competition from other providers will make it more difficult for hospitals to recruit registered nurses and could drive up salaries. A March American Hospital Association TrendWatch report predicts a 48 percent surge in RN hiring by physicians' offices from 2008 to 2018. Nurse employment is expected to climb by 33 percent in home health services, 25 percent in nursing care facilities, 24 percent in nursing employment agencies and 17 percent in hospitals. "The Cost of Caring: Drivers of Spending on Hospital Care," is available at http://www.aha.org/research/reports/tw/11mar-tw-costofcaring.pdf.

Wanted: Dental Health Workers

Millions of Americans lack access to oral health care, which can lead to increased risk of respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as inappropriate use of hospital emergency departments. One factor: 33.3 million people live in areas with shortages of dental health professionals, a report by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council finds. In addition, many graduating dental students feel unprepared to care for older patients and those with special needs. The report recommends a national effort to increase recruitment for dental students from minority, poor and rural populations and to boost the number of dental faculty with expertise in caring for underserved and vulnerable populations. Visit www.iom.edu.

Health Professionals Invited to Mentor

Health care professionals can share their expertise with students in the Find a Mentor program from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The online tool matches medical, nursing and other health care students with practicing professionals. Mentors specify their area of expertise and receive requests from students. Mentors and students decide what form the mentorship will take, whether one-time career advice, monthly coaching or something else. For information, visit http://www.ihi.org/communities/Pages/default.aspx.

$71.3 million to develop nursing workforce

The Health Resources and Services Administration awarded colleges $71.3 million to strengthen nurse education and practice capacity; boost opportunities for those from disadvantaged backgrounds; offer partial student loan forgiveness for graduates who serve as full-time nursing faculty; prepare RNs to become advanced nurse specialists; and fund advanced education nursing traineeships.

Impact of Human Resources Patterns on Quality and Safety

A report funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, "Promoting Safety and Quality Through Human Resources Practices," examines the link between innovative human resources staffing patterns and improvements in safety and quality in health care settings. The report spotlights five case studies with health care organizations. Key findings include the importance of engaging staff with mission, vision, goals and objectives; empowering front-line staff; hiring and placing staff based on competencies and organizational fit; and using techniques like Six Sigma or Lean to clarify the link with quality and safety outcomes. Visit Promoting Safety and Quality Through Human Resource Practices.