Nurse Builds a Better Bassinet

Patty Long, a labor and delivery nurse at Ventura (Calif.) County Medical Center, had an idea about how to safely keep newborns closer to their parents at home and in the hospital, and now the idea has become reality. As described in the Ventura County Star, Long relied on her experience as both a mother and a nurse to devise a bassinet that keeps a baby in the mother’s line of sight without putting them in the position of sleeping in bed with the mom. The pivoting bassinet with a retractable sidewall is now available in hospitals after first being offered in a version for consumers, thanks to a lucky connection with a parent of a SIDS victim looking for the wall technology in patent filings. “The Bassinest” is now helping to fund Long’s retirement. “Every morning I get up and pinch myself and say, ‘This didn't happen,’ “ she told the newspaper.

Massachusetts May Let NPs Prescribe Pot

Medical and recreational marijuana use got votes of confidence this past election as a number of states legalized its use. Now, a new rule, proposed by Bay State lawmakers, would give nurse practitioners the authority to prescribe marijuana use to patients, according to the Boston Herald.  Currently, doctors must give the go-ahead before patients can legally use marijuana for medical purposes. The new rule would also require caregiving facilities to register with the state, instead of the current system, which forces individual employee registration before giving patients medical marijuana. Massachusetts voted to legalize recreational use of pot in November, and public hearings on the proposition take place this week.

Ringing in the New Year with More Nurse Access

Speaking of NPs, the flip of the calendar to 2017 will spell greater access to nurse practitioners for Americans, Forbes reports. That’s because legislators across the country have eased scope-of-practice laws to make for easier access to NPs, at the same time that such nurses have increased their lobbying efforts to serve more patients. Plus, employers are also increasing access to nurse practitioners, Forbes reports, by adding worksite clinics, along with offering health plans that encourage the use of retail clinics offered by such chains as CVS and Walgreens. Also, the Department of Veterans Affairs just closed out 2016 by expanding scope of practice for NPs in its massive health care system, in a bid to bolster access for vets.

Rapid Fire

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

  • Beth Stettler, a registered nurse in Boise, Idaho, recently made the news for rescuing two dogs out of an icy pond on Christmas Day, reports.
  • In another tale of nurse heroism, Anita Mills Russell, a single mother and RN, bought and gifted a car to a struggling nursing student at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, reports.
  • And finally, Jessica Lewis, a 22-year-old cancer survivor, was inspired by her fight against the disease, and now works as a nurse alongside some of those who treated her at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., according to the Palm Beach Post