HHS awards $56 million in support of health care workforce

The Department of Health & Human Services awarded $55.5 million to improve the health care workforce, with $45.5 million of that going toward nursing workforce development. Among the nursing grants, HHS awarded $22.1 million to provide low-interest loans to nurses seeking to become faculty and for loan cancellation for nurses working as faculty. HHS grants will also support advanced nursing education programs, interprofessional collaborative practice and nursing students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Within the non-nursing awards, were $3 million in awards for accredited residency programs in preventive medicine and public health.

Study questions value of communication simulations

The use of simulations to teach communication skills among internal medicine and nurse practitioner trainees did not improve the quality of communication about end-of-life care or the quality of the end-of-life care, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In addition, among clinicians receiving the simulation-based training, there was a small increase, instead of the desired decrease, in patient symptoms of depression. The findings raise a question about the simulation training's value in actual end-of-life care, an area of focus because of the high associated costs.

WHO predicts a worsening health care global workforce shortage

The world's health care workforce will be short 12.9 million workers by 2035, according to a report from the World Health Organization. The report, "A Universal Truth: No Health Without a Workforce," identifies several causes, including worker migration within countries and between countries, which is "exacerbating regional imbalances," according to a news release. "We must rethink and improve how we teach, train, deploy and pay health workers so that their impact can widen," said Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO assistant director-general for health systems and innovation, in the release.