By now, we’re all well aware of the nationwide shortage of needed nurses, fueled by baby boomers aging out of the profession along with older boomers increasingly requiring more care, among other factors. This issue is especially acute in Florida, where a population of about 20 million is expected to reach 26 million by 2030 and is quickly getting older, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. That’s forcing hospitals to get much more creative to recruit millennial nurses — be it through hefty signing bonuses, flexible hours, college loan forgiveness programs or early career training. Hospitals seem much more open to bringing in fresh-faced nurses rather than veterans, but training is essential when they do. “That’s what we are starting to see more and a lot of our hospitals are really opening up to,” Kayla Green, a recruiter for Adventist Health System, told the newspaper. “The way the hospitals used to be in the past is you always looked for experienced nurses who are able to come in (and work) right off the bat.”

Immigrant RNs to Fill the Next Shortage

Meanwhile, other hospitals across the country are looking overseas to help relieve their own nursing shortages, U.S. News & World Report says. Already, about 15 percent of RNs in the country are foreign-born, with more than half employed in California, New York, Florida, Texas and New Jersey. The need remains strong in other parts of the country, however, especially isolated rural areas. Of course, there are obstacles to utilizing such professionals, including the frustrating visa process and state licensure requirements. 

All Alone with 60 Other People

Population health management takes on a new meaning when a nurse practitioner is the only clinician managing care on an island of about 60 inhabitants. The primary caregiver job on Fair Isle, Scotland, recently became available, and might seem easy to NPs used to working in high volume intensive care units or emergency departments. But Scotland’s National Health Service paints a blustery picture of what the job entails. A doctor visits the island once every three months, so all other medical care is left to the community nurse, according to a CNN story on KTVQ.com. Under the category of Most Challenging/Difficult Parts of the Job, the job ad includes this description:  “to deliver quality holistic care in isolation, in a range of settings, and balance conflicting and unpredictable priorities in addressing the health and social care needs of the local population.” 

Nurse Advocates for Geriatric Patients

Do you talk over elderly patients? Use elderspeak, calling older patients “honey” or “babe?” Then you may be ageist, and possibly worsening the outcomes for patients subject to that ageism. Rebecca Trotta, R.N.,  director of nursing research and science at Penn Medicine, wants less attention be paid to a person’s age when caring for that person, according to The Inquirer's Philly.com. Elders are revered in many cultures, but America's isn't one of them, Trotta told Philly.com. "Ageism is one of the most socially condoned and institutionalized forms of prejudice in our country,” she said. If less attention were put on their age and more on treating their condition, they’d be more likely to get better, Trotta said.

Rapid Fire

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

  • "Virtual patients” are helping nurses in training to hone their skills at Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions in Philadelphia, ABC Action News reports.
  • While nursing has traditionally been a female-dominated profession, more males are moving into this space, ABC 7 Eyewitness News in Chicago notes. To help to fuel that trend, Resurrection University in the Windy City is hosting a “Men in Nursing” event to help pique more men’s interest in the profession, according to the ABC 7 website.
  • An Indiana nurse is calling it quits after nearly 45 years in the profession and more than 6,500 babies delivered, The (Muncie, Ind.) Star Press reports.