Off-duty Fledgling Nurse Saves Life

Nurses often find themselves in life-or-death situations within the hospital, but for one registered nurse an afternoon run turned into a life-saving opportunity when she jumped into the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Fla., to rescue a drowning woman, the Florida Times-Union reports. Megan Zimmerly, 27, was going for a run when she spotted a woman standing outside of a railing that overlooked the water below. Although Zimmerly had just received her RN certificate a few weeks ago, “I could tell she was distraught, and being a nurse I felt extra inclined to stop and help,” she told the newspaper. Zimmerly talked the woman back over the railing but spotted her jumping into the river soon after. Zimmerly called the police and jumped in to rescue the woman before two other individuals helped pull Zimmerly and the drowning woman to safety. “I grew up on the river, and now that I am a nurse I don’t think it was a big deal. But I was happy to help,” the nurse said.

Nurses Lend a Hand in Puerto Rico

The nursing director at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Eureka, Calif., didn’t blink an eye when one of the hospital’s nurses had to go on sudden leave to help victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. “I didn't even hesitate” to accept the nurse’s humanitarian leave of absence, Traci Siler told Nurse Randee Litten was notified on Sept. 30 that she was one of 50 nurses chosen by the Registered Nurse Response Network to aid in Puerto Rico relief efforts, and her flight left on Wednesday, Oct. 4. “All she was told was she will be working 12-18 hour shifts,” Siler told the media outlet. “But for Randee, that won't even phase her.”

Male Nurse Numbers Growing: Study

The number of male nurses has grown markedly in the past 50 years, despite the commonly held belief that men are shying away from the profession. That news comes via a new paper by researchers at the University of Louisville and the University of Notre Dame. In 1960 men represented just 2.2 percent of RNs, but that number swelled to 13 percent as of 2013, researchers found. Factors that are fueling that surge, researchers say, include greater access to community colleges, rising demand for health care professionals and a general “relaxing of traditional gender role attitudes.” Of course, 13 percent is still a small percentage.

Nurses Battle Hep A Outbreak in San Diego

Stat News has a detailed look at how nurses in San Diego are helping to battle an outbreak of Hepatitis A in Southern California. The highly contagious liver disease reportedly began spreading last year when the city’s homeless population was pushed out of tourist-friendly areas and into cramped encampments during preparations for the Major League Baseball All-Star game. San Diego also made moves to lock and remove public bathrooms, aiming to prevent “rampant” opioid use and prostitution. Hep A, acquired through contact with feces from the infected, spread rapidly under these conditions and has affected close to 500 individuals in the city, killing nearly 20. Officials have looked to quell its further spread by installing new portable toilets and hand-washing stations and deploying “armies of nurses” to offer the vaccine to homeless individuals. “I’m not so much surprised it occurred, but surprised it didn’t occur earlier,” Dr. Robert Schooley, M.D., chairman of the division of infectious diseases at the University of California, San Diego, tells the website. “In some ways, it was the perfect storm.”