As more millennial nurses enter the workforce, they’re willing to sacrifice money for a better work-life balance, but state hospitals are struggling to provide the flexibility nurses are looking for. Gracie Donison, a 24-year-old with a bachelor's degree in nursing is a prime example. The New Hampshire Union Leader reports that she took a job at Darmouth-Hitchcock Hospital in Lebanon, but left after four months for a more flexible job at the private New Hampshire Hospital in Concord. According to the Leader, it has become standard for nurses to work three 12-hour shifts and remain eligible for full employee benefits. The state’s come up short because it must work with the collective bargaining agreement, which defines full time as 37.5 hours per week and above, making full-time benefits unavailable. “We can’t directly compete with private hospitals when it comes to that,” Robert MacLeod, CEO of NHH, said to the Leader. The state has boosted the salaries of nurses at NHH to compete, but nurses like Donison are choosing flexibility over paychecks.

Should NPs be Allowed to Perform Vasectomies?  

Now, all those men who are rushing to schedule vasectomies during March Madness next year might not have to wait in line — in Oregon, that is. Yesterday, the state House of Representatives voted to allow licensed nurse practitioners, not just doctors, to perform vasectomies, reports. House Bill 2103 is controversial: many urologists claim that only trained surgeons should be eligible. Planned Parenthood and the Oregon Nurses Association disagree, saying there’s a shortage of vasectomy providers that NPs could fill. This is the second time a bill on this topic has been sponsored, but the initial effort died without a vote in 2015. Now, it just needs the Senate’s OK.

Canadian Nurses Questioned in Michigan

Henry Ford Health System in Detroit is working to help a few dozen Canadian nurses who work with the organization with new visas, reports. Those nurses had reportedly been turned away at the Canadian-U.S. border due to what they said was a change in federal immigration and travel policy, HFHS officials said at a press conference this past Thursday. In a follow-up statement, however, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said there have not been any policy changes affecting nurses with nonimmigrant NAFTA visas, known as TN visas, and that often customs officials are presented with improper paperwork or lack of proper documents at the border, leading to such issues. “U.S. Customs and Border Protection is currently working closely with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for greater clarity in regards to specialized categories that fall under the registered nurse classification,” the agency said in a statement. 

Utah Joins Nurse Licensure Compact

Utah is the latest state to join the enhanced Nurse LIcensure Compact, a cooperative effort to legislatively give nurses more geographic freedom by creating multistate nursing licenses for those working in participating states. Nurses in the 10 states currently in eNLC will be able to more easily participate in telehealth programs, such as those run by Mercy, the large system based in Missouri, and at Avera Health, based in the eNLC state of South Dakota. The eNLC would go into effect either when enacted by 26 states or by Dec. 31, 2018, whichever comes sooner, and is an updated version of previous related legislation, according to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, which is coordinating passage of the effort in the various states. All states, including those participating in the existing NLC, must introduce legislation in the coming years to enter into the enhanced NLC.

Rapid Fire

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

  • Tennessee Republican Diane Black is both the first woman and the first registered nurse to chair the influential House Budget Committee, the Washington Post reports
  • University Hospitals, Cleveland State University and the Cuyahoga Community College are all banding together to train more nurses and relieve the RN shortage, reports
  • Advanced practice registered nurses are in "huge demand" in the Hoosier State, the Indianapolis Business Journal reports
  • And finally, a primary care practice model that has nurses taking the lead in diabetes management has helped to improve outcomes, Medscape reports