Young RNs surge by 62%, but they stick close to hometowns

Aggressive efforts to make nursing a more attractive career choice helped spur a 62 percent increase in the number of nurses ages 23 to 26 entering the field between 2002 and 2009, according to the December issue of Health Affairs. "Instead of worrying about a decline, we are now growing the supply of nurses," said David Auerbach, lead author and a health economist at RAND Health. However, a separate report in the same issue found that 52.5 percent of newly licensed RNs in 15 states work within 40 miles of where they attended high school, raising concerns about maintaining an adequate national distribution of nurses. Visit http://www.healthaffairs.org.

Researchers: Residencies for pharmacists benefit ED care, costs

Pharmacists with residency training provide more consultations and reduce pharmacy costs in the emergency department, research presented at a meeting of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists indicates. MedPage Today reports that during a day in the ED, researchers found that second-year pharmacy residents averaged 9.5 consultations compared with 7.3 for first-year residents and 6.5 for clinical pharmacists with no residency training. Consultations save costs primarily by averting medication errors and drug incompatibility. The Institute of Medicine and the Joint Commission support integrating clinical pharmacists into ED care. Visit www.medpagetoday.com.

Assessing EMS teamwork

Investigators at the University of Pittsburgh have developed a survey tool to identify poor teamwork and optimize crew pairings in emergency medical services. The authors note that paramedics average 19 new partners annually, and some have as many as 50. Good teamwork is essential to improving safety in EMS. Go to Prehospital Emergency Care, http://informahealthcare.com/pec.