Nurses moving away from hospitals?

As health care increasingly shifts to a more team-based approach that reaches into the communities it serves, nurses are shifting away from the hospital setting, Forbes reports.

Some 76 percent of new nurses scored jobs in U.S. hospitals in 2012, according to the RN Work Project out of New York University, which has tracked changes in the RN workforce over the past decade. That’s a dip from the 87 percent based in hospitals in 2005.

That shift is occurring as nurses increasingly take part in new models of care, such as accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes, that move away from the traditional hospital-based ways of the past.

“As nursing programs focus more on ambulatory care, I think more faculty will tell students that they can go right into the community for their first job,” Christine Kovner, professor of geriatric nursing at NYU and co-director of the RN Project, told Forbes. “In addition, we see in our data that as experienced nurses leave their hospital jobs, a small percentage are going to jobs outside of hospitals rather than to another hospital job. Thus, there is a net loss of experienced nurses to hospitals over time.”

For more on the RN Work Project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, check out this handy infographic.

Nurses (still) the most trusted profession, says Gallup

For the 14th year in a row, the American public has voted nurses as the most ethical and trusted profession in the country.

That news comes by Gallup, which just last month released the results from its annual Honesty and Ethics ranking. Based on phone interviews with more than 800 Americans in every state, 85 percent of respondents ranked nurses’ honesty and ethical standards as “very high/high.” Pharmacists (68 percent) and medical doctors (67 percent), meanwhile, rounded out the top three. At the other end of the list, members of Congress (8 percent), telemarketers (8 percent) and lobbyists (7 percent) ranked as the least trusted of professions.

RNs have topped Gallup's poll almost every year since they were added to the mix in 1999, with 2001 being the only exception. That year, firefighters were ranked as the most trusted, following a one-time inclusion in the rankings after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The 85 percent trust ranking ties a high-water mark for nurses, by the way.

The Boston Globe attempted to get to the bottom of why nurses are so highly trusted. It seems that continuity has a lot to do with it, as patients often spend most of their time in a hospital with a nurse.

“Nurses are the ones you call if you need something. People tend to place more trust in those that are directly caring for them,” Inna Khazan, a clinical psychologist in Boston, told the newspaper.

Competition to help nurses improve medication adherence

We all know the importance of making sure that patients stick to their medications, and the high costs to the health care industry when they don’t. One U.S. consumer group is looking to work with nurses in training to try and tackle that costly conundrum.

For the fifth year in a row, the National Consumers League is hosting its annual Medication Adherence Team Challenge, aiming to spark students to create ways to improve prescription uptake. Jan. 19 will mark the start of the two-month challenge, which asks universities around the country to pool together the brainpower of nurses, pharmacists and doctors alike to come up with solutions. At the end of the challenge in March, the NCL will nationally recognize those schools with the best responses. Sponsors for the effort include the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the American Medical Association.

Since the start of the contest in 2011, those involved estimate that the more than 6,000 future health care professionals involved have directly counseled more than 22,000 patients on medication adherence. Just last year, the universities of Pittsburgh and Maryland took home top honors. More on the winners can be found here.

The NCL also just released results from a study on the topic, which determined that communication is critical to keeping patients on their prescription program, among other findings. Patients who reported an improvement in medication adherence over the past year cited an uptick in communication with their health care team, particularly pharmacists, while those slacking on taking their pills had not kept in touch with clinicians as much.