Primary care benefits from looser NP regs

Certain states could ease their primary care provider shortage by loosening restrictions on nurse practitioners, concludes a study published in July's Health Affairs. And some of the states expected to experience the largest need for primary care providers — Georgia, Louisiana and Texas — have the most restrictive nurse practitioner regulations, according to the study, which was written by faculty and a student from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. The study also found a great deal of variation among the states in how nurse practitioners are regulated.

Most nurse leaders paid $80,000 or more

Fifty-two percent of nurse leaders were paid a salary between $80,000 and $130,000 in 2012, according to preliminary survey results from the American Organization of Nurse Executives. The 2013 survey of 4,600 mostly directors, managers and chief nursing officers or executives showed that 14 percent of respondents earned less than $80,000 and that 34 percent earned $130,000 or more, according to the executive summary for the report. The survey also found that overall job satisfaction stood at 62 percent very satisfied, 29 percent somewhat satisfied, 4 percent neutral and 4 percent not very satisfied. The full report will be made available in the fall.

Guide helps staff, clinicians to better engage patients

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released a guide with strategies to better engage patients and families in their medical care. The agency emphasizes improving bedside communication by getting hospital staff and patients to work more as partners. The guide also suggests enlisting patients to participate in shift reports and improving the preparation before a patient is discharged. "Many of the errors we see in health care stem from communication problems," says Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., director of AHRQ. "That's why we developed this resource, to give hospitals practical, evidence-based information to improve communication on the front lines of health care — and, ultimately, keep patients safer."