If you're aiming to get the biggest bang for your buck from a nursing degree, California may be the ideal landing spot, according to job-hunting site indeed.com. Demand across the country for RNs is on the upswing and shows no signs of decline. That means salaries are also on the rise. Based on job-posting data, Indeed.com experts estimate that job-seeker interest in nursing positions only matches up to about one-third of employer demand. "The continous demand for nurses has grown so quickly that the pipeline of talent struggles to keep up." The trend is approaching "crisis" levels in some mid-size cities, particuarly in Califonia, pushing salaries upward. Four California cities top the salary list: Fresno, with average nurse salaries of $81,344, followed by Bakersfield ($80,731), Modesto ($80,368) and Sacramento ($76,870). Portland, Ore., rounds out the top five at $73,958. 

Nurse Entrepreneur Gets TV Boost

A Boston-area materinity nurse with no business experience may have just struck entrepreneurial gold thanks to a boost from a popular TV show, Forbes reports. Melissa Gersin recently appeared on Shark Tank, seeking investor interest in her idea, which seeks to revolutionize travelling with a fussy newborn. Dubbed as the "Tranquilo Mat," the electronic, portable pad comforts babies through sounds and motions that recreate the feeling of being in the womb. The idea proved to be a hit with the sharks, and Gersin was able to snag $100,000 in start-up funds in exchange for a 10 percent stake in her company. In the weeks following her appearance on the show, the mat has already sold more than 3,500 units representing $300,000 in sales, Forbes reports. 

Kentucky Looks to NPs for Relief 

In states like North Dakota and Kentucky, and many others across the U.S., the shortage of physicians is real, and many citizens, especially in rural areas, rely on nurse practitioners and advanced practice registered nurses for primary care. With a projected shortage of 35,600 primary care physicians in the U.S. by 2025, states like Kentucky are introducing legislation to further break barriers to care, the Courier-Journal reports. A proposed bill would allow NPs to forgo a physician’s signature when prescribing certain controlled substances such as Oxycontin, as well as certain antibiotics, the report states. “This is not a change in scope of practice or prescribing … It will only eliminate the red tape and cost associated with the agreement for those who prescribe medication,” Wendy Fletcher, president of the Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practice & Nurse Midwives, told the Courier. However, some in Kentucky, including the Kentucky Medical Association, oppose the bill, citing the nationwide opioid epidemic and prescription drug abuse. But, Fletcher maintains that NPs are subject to the same U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and state guidelines that physicians are. “We have already been prescribing controlled substances for years and the board of nursing has disciplined those who have not done so within the limits allowed,” she told the newspaper.

When CPR Fails, Nurses May Struggle to Cope

When CPR fails to resuscitate a patient, nurses might experience postcode stress and post-traumatic stress disorder. Hospitals that provide institutional debriefing and support following an incident can “significantly lower” the chances of postcode stress, according to a study published in the American Journal of Critical Care. Researchers also identified four negative coping behaviors that significantly predict the severity of PTSD among nurses: denial, self-distraction, self-blame and behavioral disengagement. “Finding ways to minimize distress and improve resiliency not only helps the individual nurse but may also help combat high turnover and vacancy rates for critical care nurses,” said lead author Dawn E. McMeekin, R.N.

Georgia Senate Passes Bill to Boost Nursing Licensure

The state Senate passed a bill on Tuesday designed to tackle the nurse shortage in Georgia. Senate Bill 166 would enable registered nurses and licensed practical nurses to use a heightened Nurse Licensure Compact to hold one multistate license, which would allow them to rapidly move across state lines to administer care — which is crucial in times of emergencies or disasters. Sponsored by state Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, the bill is also written to reduce expenses for health care workers and organizations that hire nurses who would otherwise have to get several different licenses.

Rapid Fire

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

  • The American Organization of Nurse Executives is offering a webinar next week on how collaboration and innovation are two of the most critical stragies for hosiptals looking to improve safety and quality. 
  • The quality of care offered by nurse practitioners at community health centers is no different when compared with care provided by physicians, according to a new study out of George Washington University. 
  • Almost half of nurses are considering leaving the profession, citing feelings that they are overworked as the top reason, according to a new survey by RNnetwork.com
  • And finally, D Magazine shares a story of how one Texas school nurse saved a child's life after he went into cardiac arrest.