Boosting number of nurses with degrees will take a village

In January, nurses grabbed many top spots on the U.S. News and World Report’s best jobs in the country list, but as The Wichita Eagle points out, there is still a shortage of RNs with baccalaureate degrees.

A 2015 update to the 2010 Institute of Medicine publication “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” which recommended ways for nurses to help meet the health care needs of the new decade, found the profession as a whole is making strides. But the nation needs more nurses with baccalaureate degrees, more advance practice nurses and more nurses who are academically qualified to teach in nursing schools. To achieve all that, experts say, will take a “village of health care stakeholders.” 

Critical care nurses likely to recommend their specialty to other nurses.

A study released by found that 97 percent of critical care nurses would recommend their speciality to other nurses. The positive impact on severely ill patients and a constant learning environment are two reasons critical care nurses find their job fulfilling, and why they think other nurses might as well.

Another interesting finding: Critical care nurses say a keen eye is a must for the profession. “When asked to rank the top traits/skills used by critical care nurses, observation was No. 1, followed by adaptability and decisiveness, according to study results,” said senior vice president Eileen Williamson.

Work environment, reasonable workload and better education key to patient health.

Three new studies published in a March issue of the American Journal of Nursing find that better work environments, reasonable workloads and better educated nursing staff leads to better outcomes for patients.

Here are a few highlights from the studies:

  • A study looking at the relationship between nurse staffing and survival of in-hospital cardiac arrest noted slightly less than a quarter of these patients survived to discharge. After looking over multiple studies, researchers found that on medical surgical units (where close to half of all in-hospital cardiac arrests happen) each additional patient per nurse was associated with a 5 percent lower rate of surviving discharge.
  • Researchers looking at how work environment, staffing and education levels of neonatal ICU nurses affect the percentage of very-low-birth-weight infants receiving human milk at discharge found increasing staffing ratio by .15 nurses per infant was associated with an additional three percent of very-low-birth weight infants receiving human milk at discharge, a key source of essential nutrients.
  • In 11 randomized controlled trials looking at the cost-effectiveness of nurse practitioners in primary and specialized ambulatory care, authors found nurse practitioners in alternative provider ambulatory primary care roles achieved patient outcomes equivalent to or better than those achieved by general practitioners.

Colorado nurse receives February health care star award

It’s important to recognize your nurses. Give a big congrats to Mary Salabounis, a member of the surgical department at Aspen Valley Hospital in Colorado, for receiving the February Colorado Health Care Star Award from American Sentinel University and the Colorado Hospital Association.

In recognition of Salabounis as an “exceptional health care professional” she was recently promoted to charge nurse. “Our staff respects her; the medical staff appreciates her knowledge and skills, and the operating room has never hummed this smoothly until Mary was in charge. She is truly a valued and important health care star in our organization,” said Elaine Gerson, Chief Clinical Officer at Aspen Valley Hospital District.