A kerfuffle over surgical attire

Figuring out the proper surgical attire for nurses and other clinicians to wear during surgeries doesn’t seem like a huge cause for consternation. And yet, two influential groups in the field seem to be at odds over what, exactly, should be worn in the operating room. Earlier this month, the American College of Surgeons issued a statement outlining what it believes to be proper OR attire. Those guidelines are based on “professionalism, common sense, decorum and the available evidence,” according to the college, and include such things as making sure masks aren’t dangling, or that scrubs are changed at least daily. Some, such as the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, or AORN, however, have qualms with the guidelines. Specifically, AORN takes “particular concern” with the basis for these dress tips, and finds it confusing to use words such as “limited” and “modest.” “Regulatory agencies, accrediting bodies and patients expect health care organizations to follow guidelines that are evidence-based rather than conclusions based on professionalism, common sense or decorum,” the association writes.

How two Wisconsin schools seek to develop more RNs

In some areas, the solution to the nursing shortage isn’t generating interest in nursing as much as it is managing the influx of nursing students. That’s why Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay partnered to launch a four-year nurse degree program in the fall. It won’t wait-list its prospective students, and it is affordable to boot, Fox 11 News Reports. Dubbed NURSE 1-2-1, the program is an answer to what Hospital Sisters Health System Eastern Wisconsin Division Chief Nursing Officer Paula Hafemann says is a strong interest among local students in pursuing nursing. The program divides the curriculum between the two schools and costs a total of $35,000. This comes after the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that nursing candidates seek out a four-year degree instead of a two-year one.

Going international to relieve the nursing shortage

Here’s another example of how hospitals might look overseas to help fill nursing slots. UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s in Sioux City, Iowa, (population 83,000), is seeking to hire nurses from the Philippines and Jamaica to forestall the effects of retiring nurses and aging baby boomers, according to the Sioux City Journal. One important aspect is that the hospital, located where Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota converge, conducted most of the interviews with potential candidates via Skype. Another thing worth noting is that from a governance perspective, getting it enacted could take some doing. And two of the biggest changes that internationally recruited nurses face were getting accustomed to both the hospital’s electronic health record system and to being greeted on the street by strangers. Regarding the latter, Florinda Sapico, a nurse from the Philippines, told the newspaper: "It's something new for me. You feel good."

Rapid fire

Here are a few more nurse-related items that caught our eye in the past week, in rapid fashion:

  • Jackie Somerville, CNO at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, is stepping down from her post following months of contract negotiations with a nurses’ union and a narrowly avoided strike, the Boston Business Journal reports.
  • A slowdown in the licensing of nurses in California — it can take up to 24 weeks instead of the expected 10-12 weeks — has put 2,000 potential nurses in licensing limbo, says Kaiser Health News.
  • Finally, nurses aren’t deterred by having to visit crime-ridden areas of the community to deliver care. Their solution? Taking retired policemen with them as security escorts, "NBC Chicago" reports.