Nurses need better access to educational tools when it comes to preparing for and responding to disasters, says the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in a recently published brief. While RNs have more than risen to the occasion after tragedies such as the Ebola scare, Boston bombing and Hurricane Sandy, among others, the brief offers several takeaways for improvement. Another lesson: Health organizations must promote teamwork, safety, nurse leadership and candid communication among a diverse group.

Hospitals Take Nurse Shortage into Their Own Hands with Residency Programs, Incentives

As the nurse shortage drags on, some hospitals are addressing it by offering bonus incentives to current employees who can bring new RNs to their organizations. They’re also wasting no time by interviewing candidates on the spot at job fairs and proactively working to establish much-needed residency programs, the Columbia Tribune reports. As nursing students graduate, they often lack for clinical training sites. According to the story, nurse administrators are taking matters into their own hands by teaming up to create residency programs, and the Missouri Hospital Association is supporting a clinical leadership academy at Boone Hospital Center, Columbia, Mo., next month to train nurses to become instructors in residency programs.

Delaware Bill Would Make Penalties More Severe for Attacks on Nurses

Attacks against first responders such as police officers, fire fighters and paramedics are considered to be second-degree assaults in almost every state, and at least 30 states include all nurses in that category of emergency workers. But some states, such as Delaware, currently consider assaults against nurses to be only Class D felonies. A new Delaware bill might change that, Delaware Online reports.

House Bill 214 by Rep. Helene Keeley, D-Wilmington South, would deem assaults against any nurse on the job as second-degree assaults. “If you have somebody who is wanted by the law and wants to get the heck out of there and needs to assault a nurse to do so, that’s one of the ideal reasons for this bill,” Keeley said.