Older and Wiser

Don’t write off those aging baby boomers yet. The image of a 60-something nurse coasting into retirement doesn’t fit the results of a new study that found that transformational leadership skills hit their peak among nurses 60-69 years old. Published in the June issue of the Journal of Nursing Administrationthe researchers found that nurses continue to accumulate leadership skills up to age 70, when retirement and part-time work status plays a bigger role in the nurse workforce. The categories in which the older nurses scored particularly well were “inspire a shared vision,” “challenge the process” and “enable others to act,” according to a summary of the study.

Keep That Baby Dirty

Most babies are given a sponge bath shortly after birth, but it turns out that white lotion-like substance they’re born with serves a useful purpose. It's called vernix caseosa, and it acts as a coat that keeps the baby warm after birth, helps fight skin infection and promotes healthy skin growth, the Chicago Tribune reports. That’s why six of the 12 hospitals in the Advocate Health Care system are adopting a “wait to bathe” initiative that was piloted by Advocate Sherman Hospital in February 2016. The policy allows 14 hours to give full-term, healthy newborns a bath. Any blood is wiped off, but a sponge bath must wait, according to the Tribune. Courtney Buss, who was chosen for an Advocate Evidence Based Practice Fellowship, found that the percentage of babies with hypothermia dropped from 29 percent to 14 percent after baths were delayed at Sherman. Hypoglycemia rates also dropped and breastfeeding rates increased during the first month, the report notes. “You can’t argue with these results,” Fran Tefi-Teal, director at the Advocate Sherman Family Birthing Center, told the Tribune.

Rapid Fire

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

  • In case you somehow missed the news plastered all over the internet, Chipotle is giving free burritos to nurses with the purchase of another one on Wednesday.
  • Also on Wednesday, the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses is partnering with the Joint Commission to celebrate “National Time Out Day,” encouraging nurses to speak up for safe practices in the OR.
  • Two states are pushing forward to expand the availability of sexual assault nurse examiners, who examine victims following an incident. The governor of Vermont just signed into law a new bill that aims to increase the availability of such examiners. And Nebraska, meanwhile, has picked a nurse leader to help make sure that forensic exams of sexual assault victim are conducted using the state’s established best practices, among other initiatives.
  • And finally, Brianna Seaver, a 17-year-old senior at Taunton High School in Taunton, Mass., wants to be a nurse following her successful heart transplant. She’s already volunteering at the school nursing office to get ready for her future career, according to The Enterprise newspaper.